By: Emmanuel Ulayi.
In line with the advise of the Chairman of the Nigeria Commissioners for Health Forum Dr Betta Edu on the need for all Tertiary Institutions in the country to set up a COVID-19 Taskforce team in their various Universities, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar Prof Florence Obi has blazed the trail by inaugurating the varsity’s taskforce team to ensure that the COVID-19 laid down rules/procedures are adhered to by returning Students and Staff.
In a courtesy visit led by the Chairman of the team Dr Akaba Kingsley to the Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu, the team spelt out their assigned responsibilities to the Commissioner while soliciting for the State Government’s support to enable them effectively handle the large number of Students and Staff that will be returning back to School by February 5th.
Speaking during the visit, the Health Commissioner who also doubles as the CRS COVID-19 Taskforce Chairman once again congratulated the Chairman of the Taskforce and his members noting that their appointment is a clear testament of their capacity, passion and commitment to responsibility given even in time past, while commending the Vice Chancellor Prof Florence Obi for always being exceptionally proactive in her duties. The Commissioner also congratulated her once again on her well deserved appointment as the first Female Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar.
“A couple of weeks ago I advised on the need to decentralize the COVID-19 response into all Universities, with Universities setting up their own taskforce but linking same to the State Taskforce for better coordination and support am proud that my own State has set the ball rolling.
“Due to the large number of Staff and Students that will be returning back to School, it is of great importance that screening areas be created at every point of entry in and out of the school, where everyone would be screened using infrared thermometers. Everyone going through must use their face mask, hand washing facilities be provided at strategic locations within the School premises for regular hand washing, sub teams can be created in all facilities to ensure monitoring and enforcement of NO MASK NO MOVEMENT within the School.
A holding area should be created at the Medical center for emergency cases before the invitation of the State Response Team, compulsory use of facemasks by all Staff and Students, Hand Sanitizers in all Offices, Sensitization Materials pasted at strategic locations to awaken student’s consciousness. All these will prevent COVID-19 casualties.
Dr Edu on behalf of the State Government supported the team with PPEs, N95 facemasks, Gloves, Medijet Face Masks, Hand Washing liquid Soap, Face Shield, isolation Gowns, and a list of other very important COVID-19 prevention items while calling on the School to adopt the Antigen Rapid Testing before using PCR test for further confirmation due to the high number of staff and Students in the Institution. She solicited with the University management to assign the team with a Vehicle to ease their job while calling on other Universities to emulate the University of Calabar.
Students who fails to abide on the COVID-19 laid down procedures should be made to face the sanctions of the Taskforce Committee as stated by the Chairman Dr Akaba who was accompanied by Mr Omang Robert Secretary, Dr Odey Paul Member, Mr Patrick Ogar Member and Mr George Odok the Committee Media Personnel.