The Director General, Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni has appealed to
heads of schools and administrators to promote a thorough hand washing culture that includes running water and soap as a way of preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The Public Affairs Officer, OEQA, Mr. Emmanuel Olaniran in a statement, said schools should install hand wash stands at strategic and accessible areas within the school premises for staff and students; provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers; ensure that keeping fingers away from the nose, eyes and mouth should be prioritised.
According to the statement, “tissue paper should be made available to all students; contact with suspected infected people should be strictly avoided; students with suspected flu-like symptoms or high temperatures should be advised to stay at home. School leaders, students and families are advised to maintain a high level of personal and environmental hygiene to safeguard pupils.”
He said during routine monitoring exercises, OEQA evaluators will emphasise good hygienic practices and also monitor compliance in schools, adding that the importance of hygiene in schools and homes in the state as a preventative measure against the outbreak of coronavirus infection cannot be overemphasized.
He said adequate safety measures have been put in place by the state government.
Olaniran recalled that the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi had said coronavirus causes upper respiratory infection with flu-like symptoms such as stuffy nose, cough and sore throat.
“The virus could be transmitted through coughing and sneezing and the touching of contaminated handles or surfaces.”
Also, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo said the state government, through the Ministry of Health recently activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) which is the command and control centre where possible suspected cases are screened and to coordinate operational information and resources for the strategic management of emergencies in preparation against infectious diseases.
She added that the biosafety laboratory located at the Lagos Mainland Hospital, built to ensure effective management of infectious diseases has fully commenced operations, just as surveillance activities are being intensified across the state to fast-track the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases whenever they occur.
Adefisayo explained that the signs of corona virus, which causes upper respiratory infection with symptoms like, stuffy nose, sore throat and cough, adding that this disease could spread through contact with infected persons’ hands, face or by contact with objects infected persons have handled.
She advised heads of schools and administrators to provide clean wash hand stands with water and soap alongside alcohol based hand sanitizers at designated points within their school premises to prevent possible spread of the disease. “Students and teachers should keep their hands and fingers away from their noses, eyes and mouths and to avoid contact with suspected infected persons.”
While allaying their fears, she advised that same measures should be replicated in homes.
She noted that the importance of maintaining a high level of personal and environmental hygiene cannot be overemphasized as most of the dangerous pathogens are zoonotic infections which comes from the food chain and environment to infect people.
She said if anyone suspects any individual or persons having traits of the virus, they should report to the nearest authority concerned.