UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, (UI) PREPARED TO TACKLE COVID-19 THIRD WAVE, WARNS AGAINST LAXITY IN USE OF FACEMASK

Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Adebola Ekanola, on Friday said less than 10 deaths were recorded from people in the university due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed concern that people are taking the infection for granted.

Professor Ekanola, speaking during a virtual meeting of deans and heads of the departments of university organised by the University of Ibadan COVID-19 emergency response team, said that there had been a lot of laxity on personal protective measures because many assumed that they are safe from the infection.

He stated that although the university so far was lucky not to have been badly affected by the pandemic, he said students and staff of the institution needed to take charge and be responsive to ensuring no COVID-19 case is recorded in the university.

According to him, the risk of the pandemic is higher than when the academic session started and so, individuals’ health should be prioritised above other pursuits of life.

Professor Ekanola said that a task force to emphasise and encourage high compliance of students and staff of the university to wear face masks, ensure hand washing and social distancing is to start work in the school.

Head, Department of Virology, Professor Georgina Odaibo, stated that tests done at the University’s Department of Virology indicated that positivity rate had gone up from about 1.5 per cent in April, 2.8 per cent in May, 12 per cent by June ending and 16 per cent in July.

Professor Odaibo said if protective measures were not in place, the infection could spread to the university.

Director, University of Ibadan Health Services, Dr Aderonke Ajayi, said that ensuring health is a collective efforts of all, adding that compliance with COVID-19 protective protocol is only ensured currently in the religious centres within university.

Coordinator, UI COVID-19 emergency response committee, Professor Victoria Adetunji, said the enlightenment programme became imperative because of the detection of delta variant of the virus in Nigeria, the steep increase in daily cases in Nigeria since July; increasing positivity rate for the infection and the potential third wave of the infection at the University of Lagos.

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