Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has directed the reopening of schools across the state for students in primary and secondary schools from September 21, 2020.
It will be recalled that both public and private schools were closed in March this year as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The governor noted that since the commencement of the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination in the state on August 17 there has been no spike of COVID-19 cases related to the students and teachers hence the decision to allow other students to resume their academic activities.
Fayemi in his statewide broadcast on Sunday evening said students in SSS 2, JSS 3 and primary 6 should return for their academic activities while SSS 1, JSS 2 and primary 4&5 students are to resume September 28, 2020.
The governor further added that pupils in lower classes such as kindergarten and nursery schools would resume November 2, 2020, “when we hope more assurances of safety for their age bracket would have been established.”
On the resumption for tertiary institutions in the state, Fayemi said, “Tertiary institutions of learning in Ekiti may begin to reopen as from October 2, 2020, but this is subject to their level of readiness and compliance with the established protocols. They are to liaise with the Ekiti COVID-19 Task Force for guidance on the appropriate measures to be put in place before reopening.”
He explained that religious centres can now hold two services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the case may be with full adherence to COVID-19 established protocols.
While directing the reopening of event centres and halls across the state, the governor said event centres would only be allowed for social gatherings at 50 per cent capacity.
Fayemi, however, lamented the flagrant disobedience to the COVID-19 safety precautions such use of face masks, washing of hands in public places and social distancing rule by residents, calling on security agencies to begin the enforcement of these rules,
Meanwhile, Government has observed with disappointment, the consistent breach of social-distancing regulations and the use of face masks in public places and social events.
According to him, “While we have progressively responded to the initial lockdown with gradual relaxation in line with the progress made, we must remain vigilant as we cannot afford to indulge ourselves such that a spike may recur as a result of flagrant disobedience to the established protocol
” We cannot afford to go back into another round of lockdown with its attendant repercussions. This point needs to be emphasised; though there is a national decline in the number of cases, there has been a noticeable upsurge in Ekiti.
“One proof of this is the unpleasant but consistent figures that we have recorded in the last month. As at the time I addressed you on August 5, 2020, there were only 152 confirmed cases in Ekiti. Today we have recorded a total of 299 cases which means we recorded 147 new cases within a month. You would recall that the total recorded cases from March to August were 152. This suggests that from August to date, we have had near 100 per cent new cases, even while the national number has maintained a stable decline.
“It is in view of this, that I have issued a new directive to the law enforcement agencies to ramp up their enforcement activities. We should not delude ourselves that we are out of the pandemic until there is a reliable vaccine in place. Even as we continue to evaluate situations and act promptly, I urge you to take personal measures and responsibility by adhering to all existing protocols, as not doing so, could jeopardise our collective wellbeing.”