The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, says with “the onset of the wet season which comes along with an increase in flu-like diseases”, children run the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 if schools are reopened now.
The centre said with the nation’s weak health system as well as the very low risk perception of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening schools now would further spread the coronavirus in the country.
Head, Risk Communication, NCDC, Dr Yahya Disu, said this weekend during a webinar hosted by the Plan International Nigeria’s Country Director, Hussaini Abdu, with the support from the European Union.
The theme of the session was: “Rethinking Education: Perspective and Challenges of Remote and Alternative Learning in COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Disu said: “The risk perception by the public is still very low and it is because our population structure consists mostly of youths who may have the disease and not have symptoms.
“Re-opening schools will further spread the disease. If there is good level of compliance, then we could consider school reopening.
“School children are likely not going to comply and it could spread the disease among them as majority of our pupils go to school in vehicles and the transport sector is known to have poor record of compliance.”
Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma of the University of Abuja urged government to take a cue from some private higher institutions of learning by investing in blended or mixed learning to surmount the COVID-19 pandemic.
She urged the deployment of campus radios to support remote learning in higher institutions.