From Ameachi Prosper (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
Governor Godwin Obaseki on Friday said schools in Edo state will remain closed until Feb. 1, as the state grapples with the second wave of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor also announced that the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew had been reactivated in the state, adding that the state has the logistics and human capacity to respond to the pandemic.
Obaseki who briefed the press in Benin, said, “We have decided that schools will not reopen for now; this situation will be reviewed by Feb. 1.
“We will like our schools to reopen on Feb. 1, depending on the situation then.”
According to the governor, “between now and that time, we will be going round to make sure that these schools have running water.
“We want to ensure spacing for the children are in place and we want to ensure that they have temperature checks at the entrance of each school.
“Each classroom should not hold more than 30 percent of the students; all of that is being worked out by the Ministry of Education and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (EDOSUBEB).
“Within the next two weeks, we should be able to finalize plans to allow children to go back to school.
“In the meantime, we will reactivate EdoBest at home. You will recall that during the first wave, we were able to create over 9,000 virtual classrooms for these children to learn.
“We will not relocate markets as we did the first time. We will work with market associations to ensure that we continue the fumigation of the markets on an ongoing basis.
“All markets and shops must ensure they have running water, soaps, and hand sanitiser at the entrance. We are working on alternative opening days for stores in the markets.
“We will introduce the no-face-mask, no-entry policy in every market and store in Edo.”
He appealed to all worship centers to ensure that children under 12 and the elderly were not allowed to attend services, following the prevalence of the disease.
“Religious gathering should not last for more than one hour. Where there is more than one service, there should be an hour interval to allow for decontamination.
“Event centers should not admit more than 30 percent of their capacity, while hotels should shut down their swimming pools and restaurant operators should encourage take away,” he said.