SWITZERLAND, MARCH 20 – In a precautionary move aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education has ordered the immediate closure of all educational institutions which includes, tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide.
This directive was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono.
According to a statement which was released on Thursday by Mr Echono on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, it also noted that all 104 Unity Schools throughout the country should close on or before the 26th of March, 2020 as a precautionary step which is aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus (Covid-19) which has become a global threat.
All the Principals of the various Unity schools were asked by the Education Minister to fast track the second term examination which is going on at the moment and then shut the schools until further notice.
The Minister in his statement said, “We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.
“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,”
As part of his directive, the Minister expects that the management of all the Unity Colleges would as a matter of urgency activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol-based sanitizers, and handwashing facilities among others, in addition to these, the students are expected to strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.
Adamu Adamu also directed the Principals to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities, emphasizing that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic.
It should be noted that the announcement of a total of 12 confirmed cases in the country has made the Federal and some State Governments to take some measures which include flight restrictions on some high-risk countries, restrictions of public gatherings like churches and mosques, suspension of sports events, shut down of schools in some states, suspension of orientation and other activities by National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and some others
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has called for calm in the midst of rising coronavirus cases. A statement issued on Thursday evening by the president’s media aide, Garba Shehu reads:
The Presidency wishes to assure Nigerians that government is on top of the Covid 19 situation. There is no cause for panic. So far, measures put in place are working efficiently. What Nigeria is doing has been recommended as a template.
The President trusts the relevant Ministers in his cabinet and the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who are providing him with constant updates and professional counsel. These officials have a track record of competence.
We do not want to create panic. But we will continue to update the Nigerian public with relevant information. We plead with every Nigerian to cooperate with the Government in the fight against Covid19, and to obey all instructions from NCDC.
We have a high-level Presidential Task Force on the Coronavirus, chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). This body should be allowed to carry out its duties.
We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised. North, South, East, and West — all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation.
President Muhammadu Buhari thanks all those at the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus.