COVID-19 Weekly: ASUU Insists Universities May not Resume by January 18
Nigeria sped past 100,000 Covid-19 cases on January 11 indicating a quicker infection rate. The daily number of positive cases has consistently risen above 1,000 and health officials are sounding repeated warnings to Nigerians to heed Covid-19 protocols.
A total of 102,601 cases have been confirmed in the country so far with 19,654 cases currently active.
These are the other news relating to the covid-19 that developed during the week.
FG to Pay for vaccination of 50% of Nigerians
The federal government has made public how it intends to achieve vaccination for 70% of the population required to attain herd immunity from Covid-19 by 2021. TechNext reported that the country is expecting 42 million doses of the vaccine this year, with the first 100,000 doses to come in January. The 100,000 doses will be taken by 50,000 Nigerians who will receive 2 doses each within a 21-day interval.
According to the FG, 20% of Nigerians will receive free vaccines from global coalitions against covid-19, while the government will pay for the remaining 50%.
PTF releases new protocols for travellers as second wave rages
As the second wave of the covid-19 continues to spread, the Presidential Task Force has announced a new set of guidelines for travellers into the country. According to the new guidelines, each traveller is expected to take a Covid-19 PCR test within 96 hours before their flight into Nigeria.
An individual must also test negative for the virus otherwise, airlines are mandated to restrict them from boarding.
Travellers are required to fill a health questionnaire online and pay for another covid-19 test that will take place 7 days after they arrive in Nigeria. In those 7 days, the individual is expected to be in isolation and to self-monitor for symptoms of the virus.
ASUU says universities not prepared to resume by January 18
After calling off the long strike that has kept students at home since March 2020, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says that students may have to remain at home nonetheless because of the absence of facilities that are needed to curb the spread of covid-19 in the schools.
ASUU says there is no preparation yet for the safe reopening of schools because the federal government has not made any plans or announcement towards it. The ASUU officials maintained that facilities such as handwashing stands and alcohol-based sanitisers should have been provided by the government during the long strike in preparation for resumption.
Dr Adebayo Oni, Chairman of ASUU-FUNAAB, said “Who is to provide sanitisers? Do you expect lecturers to provide sanitisers for themselves? Fumigation of the environment from time to time should be done. How do you cope with students surge and the challenge of power supply?”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has called on the federal government not to shift the date of resumption for universities on account of Covid-19. NANS urged the FG to instead put in place measures to curb the spread of the virus within schools. The student body also called on student unions across the country to set up Student Task Force in the schools to bolster the efforts of the government in curbing the spread of the virus.
237 people arrested in Lagos for breaking covid-19 protocols
237 people have been arrested in Lagos for breaking Covid-19 protocols. The raid, which took place in the early hours of Saturday morning targeted mostly nightclubs whose activities have been banned in a bid to reduce the spread.
On Saturday morning, 85 suspects were arrested from Lounge 38 in Bode Thomas Surulere, while 152 suspects were arrested in Club Victoria’s in Victoria Island. The state police commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, said some 6 other suspects were arrested for being out in the night and violating the federal government-imposed 12 midnight to 4 am curfew in the state.
NCDC DG says Nigerian hospitals are at a tipping point
As infection rate continues to rise amid a disregard for covid-19 protocols, the Director-General of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Charles Ihekweazu says the numbers are getting to a point where hospitals will have to make tough calls.
He said, “We are reaching a critical level where our hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious Covid-19 cases”.
According to him, when that happens, “health workers will be forced to make tough decisions”. The tough decisions may be similar to what happened in Italy when patients had to be left uncared for because of insufficient medical capacity to treat the sick.
He admonished Nigerians to take more care of the elderly while adhering to covid-19 protocols which include maintaining social distance, constant washing of hands or use of sanitisers as well as constant use of face masks.
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