Atleast 181 students and teachers of a private school in Lagos State have been confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus days after the government approved the reopening of schools in the state.
The affected students and teachers were among the 441 students and staff of the private school (name withheld) located in a suburb of Lekki in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government and were said to have been placed under isolation after contracting the virus in Lagos.
As gathered, the virus was first discovered in a 14-year-old SS1 female student, who fell ill on the 3rd of October, and was sent home after receiving a first aid treatment at the school’s Sick Bay.
The Guild learnt that parents of the child, in fear of what could have caused the ailment, sent the girl to a private laboratory where she was discovered to have contracted the virus.
Confirming the statistics, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, through a statement signed by Director, Public Affairs Unit of the ministry, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, on Friday, said that the students and teachers were from a private boarding school in Lekki.
Abayomi stated that to prevent the virus spread, all parents have been contacted and counseled via a family zoom call, which was also attended by Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, to allay their fears, and ensure communication between school authorities and parents continues.
“There is a total lockdown and movement restriction in the school with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Pillar of the EOC and Ibeju-Lekki LGA State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO) reporting at the school daily to conduct a further investigation while positive students and staff have been isolated on the premises and given the COVID-19 home-care treatment packs and are being monitored in isolation within the school premises,” he added.
The Commissioner stated that the school authorities supported by the State Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are following the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the government.
According to him, students are to be isolated in the School premises and if unwell will be admitted in one of the accredited isolation centers in Lagos. Students are discouraged from going home to avoid infecting members of their families.
While assuring the public that the situation was already under control, the commissioner stated that the state government was already monitoring the school and other boarding schools in the state to prevent any significant outbreak.
“I am pleased to announce that all the infected students are predominantly asymptomatic while some have very mild symptoms, no student has required hospitalization.
“Members of the Emergency Operation Center and our counterparts in the Ministry of Education have been deployed to the school to provide strategic interventions and support to the school. This includes psychosocial support, infection prevention control, medical monitoring and risk communication experts to further enlighten and educate affected people,” Abayomi noted.
The Commissioner reemphasized the need for citizens to practise the highest standard of personal and environmental hygiene , stressing that use of face mask in public places, proper handwashing and hand hygiene practice and maintaining physical distance will help prevent the spread of the infection.
“COVID-19 is still very much with us and we must strive to prioritize the safety of all, including students and teachers, by adhering strictly to prevention protocols and guidelines issued by government to prevent its spread,” Abayomi said.