Following the loss of three of the institution’s professors to the rampaging coronavirus pandemic within days, authorities at the University of Ibadan (UI) have announced the adoption of a blended mode of teaching on the campus for the rest of the ongoing second semester examination.
The decision was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the university’s Registrar, Olubunmi Faluyi, a copy of which PREMIUM TIMES obtained.
Though the university did not confirm the cause of the death of the three dons, findings by this newspaper indicated that they died of the pandemic.
The statement, however, confirmed the increasing number of coronavirus cases at both the main campus of the university, its college of medicine and college hospital.
Death of dons
One of the late professors, David Olaleye, was a key part of the Oyo State COVID-19 task force and the head of the clinical virology laboratory where COVID-19 tests are being conducted in the state.
Sources, who did not want to be quoted, told this newspaper that the result of a laboratory test that confirmed that Mr Olaleye was positive, was only received after his demise.
He had reportedly died on July 27 of complications from the disease.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State commisrated the family of the late Mr Olaleye, saying he served the state and humanity while he was alive.
Meanwhile, two other professors who reportedly died of the pandemic were Bankole Oke of the Department of Veterinary Medicine with specialisation in veterinary anatomy, and Anthony Ologbobo of the department of animal science in the faculty of agricultural science.
A professor at the university, who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity, described the three as diligent and dutiful colleagues.
Another official on the campus, who also did not want to be quoted for not being authorised to speak on the matter, said the university was only trying to manage the information.
The source, however, said the information in circulation that the professors were already vaccinated before their death was not correct.
“Our findings have shown that they were not all vaccinated. In fact, the virologist too was not yet vaccinated before his death,” the source said.
Meanwhile, since Oyo State reported the Delta variant of the virus some weeks ago, coronavirus cases in the state have increased significantly.
The university management said the increasing COVID-19 cases call for caution and proactive actions which includes a review of mode of teaching and learning.
It also noted that all residents, workers on the campus and users of its facilities must ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
The statement reads in part: “This is to inform the University community that management has requested the faculties to identify the courses to be taught online and those to be taught physically en route to the commencement of the blended mode of teaching and learning for the remaining part of the second semester of the 2020/2021 session.”
The registrar said the decision was based on the proposal submitted to the Committee of Provosts and Deans (CoPD), by the Emergency Remote Teaching Committee (ERTC) at a meeting which was held on August 11.
The statement added: “More cases of Covid-19 are being announced nationwide. These call for caution and proactive actions which should take into consideration, in the main, the review of the mode of teaching and learning in the second semester and, as a consequence, provide a safe way to undertake pedagogical activities on Nigerian university campuses,” adding that “The ERTC platforms and tools (LMS, zoom, youtube, gsuite accounts, telegram fora, solution clinics) should be maintained for use by students and staff in all cases.”
The management also said If the situation worsens on campus, full online engagement should be mounted for all courses, exempting only departments and units with special needs with the condition that evident strict compliance with the protocols will be observed.
It also added that arrangements are ongoing to make vaccines available for all students and staff of the university.
Nigeria continues to battle the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic with the presence of the deadly Delta variant.
The country has recorded 7,613 cases within two weeks raising the total number of infections in the country to 182,503, according to an update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
The figure is higher than the 6,290 cases recorded in the four weeks from July 1 to 31.
So far, 2,219 fatalities have been reported with 68 fatalities recorded in the past two weeks indicating a full blown third wave in the country.
Amidst this, Nigeria commenced the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination on Monday. Almost four million people have already been vaccinated in the first phase which commenced on March 5,2021.
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