Schools may resume mid-September, says Minister

wpid-Minister-of-Health-Dr-Onyebuchi-Chukwu-360x271

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

The Federal Government on Wednesday reversed its decision to postpone resumption of primary and secondary schools across the nation till October 13.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who briefed state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, indicated that schools resumption date might be moved back to September

Chukwu’s Education counterpart, Ibrahim Shekarau, had earlier on August 26 announced the October 13 resumption date as a precautionary step against the spread of Ebola virus

But at a briefing following the FEC meeting on Wednesday, Chukwu said experts’ opinion had indicated that “students could safely resume from mid-September.”

The minister said specific resumption date would be announced after a meeting between the Minister of Education, states’ Commissioners of Education and other stakeholders involved in the earlier postponement of the resumption date to October 13.

“The Minister of Education was directed by council to convene an emergency meeting with all states commissioners of Education in order to agree on when schools can resume nationwide,” he said.

At the briefing with the Health minister were the Ministers of Information, Labaran Maku; Transport, Umar Idris; National Planning, Abubakar Suleiman, and Power (State), Mohammed Wakil.

Chukwu, who also gave a weekly report to the Council on the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, said that there were currently 296 contacts under surveillance in the country.

The minister, who refuted insinuations that 60 Ebola contacts were missing in Port Harcourt, said of the 296 contacts actually under surveillance in the entire country, 255 of them were in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and the remaining 41 in Lagos State.

He explained that investigations had proved rumoured outbreak of the disease in Abuja and Calabar to be negative.

He added that Enugu was completely free from the disease, saying that the nurse who initially escaped surveillance in Lagos to meet her husband in Enugu had also tested negative to the disease.

He said the member of ECOWAS staff, Olu-Ibukun Koye, who jumped surveillance and took the virus to Port Harcourt, had developed strong anti-bodies against the virus and as such could not infect others with it.

He said it could not yet be determined if Koye would be prosecuted or not.

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