The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that pre-primary classes in public and private schools across the state are to remain closed until further announcements are made.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said this during a press briefing on Saturday, where he gave an update on COVID-19 in the state and gradual resumption of activities.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the announced reopening of schools in the state in which private secondary schools are allowed to open from September 21, while public schools will adopt a “phased reopening” on the date.
Speaking on school resumption, the governor said it is necessary to provide clarifications regarding the resumption of schools, “to clear any confusion that may have arisen since the original announcement was made.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu said while students in JS 3 and SS 2 in public schools are to resume physical classes from Monday, all other public-school classes should await announcements for their resumption date.
All private primary and secondary schools are permitted to resume from Monday, while school managers are urged to put the safety of students, staff and parents first by adopting a phased reopening, according to the governor.
“All private primary and secondary schools are also expected to comply with safety protocols and hygiene guidelines as instructed by the State Government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA). The Office of Education Quality Assurance will continue to monitor and evaluate Schools’ preparedness. If, however, any teacher or school head notices any pupil is ill, he or she should isolate such a pupil in a safe and secured room pending when the appropriate health authorities are contacted,” the governor said.
“At this point it is very important to clarify that ALL Pre-Primary – Nursery, Daycare Centers and Kindergarten – Classes and Schools in both Public and Private schools will remain closed until further announcements are made by the Lagos State Government.
“All pupils of Pre-Primary Schools in Lagos State must therefore remain at home until further notice, and continue to receive their lessons by virtual means,” he added.
Worship centres in the state are allowed to resume normal midweek services while complying with COVID-19 protocols, Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
“As regards our places of worship, we are also now permitting the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers; and in the case of churches, they are now also permitted to resume their mid-week services.
“All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders,” he said.
Cinemas and Gyms
The governor further said cinemas and gyms are permitted to reopen as soon as possible, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
“There must be a minimum of two empty seats between occupied seats; and in the case of gyms, there must be constant disinfection of machines and equipment throughout the course of the day,” he said.
Decisions regarding the reopening of night-clubs, bars, event centres, spas, public parks and others are yet to be made and they are to remain closed, until fixed plans for reopening are announced in October 2020.
As of Friday, Lagos State had conducted close to 100,000 tests; and recorded a total of 18,854 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the governor said.
“Of this number,15,598 have recovered in community, 592 are currently active in community, and 207 deaths have sadly occurred.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu said while the state is witnessing a dramatic decline in the number of Covid-19 related deaths at its facilities, the management strategy is a combination of admission to COVID-19 Care Centres for some cases, and Home-Based care and support for asymptomatic, mild or moderate cases.
The governor emphasised that the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activity must never be taken as an excuse to let down guard against the pandemic.
“Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable.
“The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitizers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times,” he said.