NCDC warns of COVID-19 spread as school resumes
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has called for vigilance and adherence to safety regulations in the face of COVID-19 as students return to school.
The NCDC director-general, Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the call at the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
Schools resumed on Monday, while those in model colleges and upgraded schools will resume in batches due to the ongoing West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
“This week, children will be going back to school because schools are resuming, principals and others are having to deal with this situation of taking responsibility from students who might get infected and might spread the virus,” said Mr Ihekweazu. “It’s important to be aware that children are not immune to this disease. They can get it as easily as anyone else and can also spread it as easily as anyone else, and even themselves don’t generally get severely ill. But, they are very good spreaders of the virus.”
The NCDC boss added that the second challenge was that children do not present the same symptoms as adults, who commonly present shortness of breath or do not carry the most common symptoms of smell or taste.
“They present very unusual normal symptoms, it can be very difficult to distinguish from what we call common cold or malarial fever. If caregivers, teachers, and parents do not take such symptoms seriously, it’ll go ahead and spread. We’ve seen instances of large outbreaks going completely unnoticed,” he further explained.
Mr Ihekweazu added that the agency was ready to work with schools needing more information on the Rapid Diagnosis Test kits.
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