From Faith Awa Maji, Lafia

The Nasarawa State Government has ordered all public and private schools in the state to remain closed for an additional two weeks from the initial January 4 resumption date.

It was not clear at the time of this report whether the extension of the school resumption date was due to the rise of COVID-19 positive cases recorded in the second wave of the pandemic in the state.

The new wave of the coronavirus recently hit Nasarawa, leaving not less than 30 people confirmed positive in a single day.

The Nasarawa State Ministry of Education Science and Technology in a statement signed by the Commissioner, Hajiya Fatu Jimaita Sabo, on Monday, and issued to newsmen, directed that all public, private schools operating in the state and other stakeholders in the education sector to adhere strictly to the directive.

‘The Ministry wishes to inform members of the public, particularly parents, guardians, students, pupils, Chief Evaluation Officers, Principals, Head Teachers and other stakeholders in the Education sector, that based on the outcome of consultations with the State Ministry of Health, all public and private schools in the state will now re-open on Monday, 18th January 2021,’ the statement reads.

The statement added that January 18 would mark the commencement of the first term of 2020/2021 academic session.

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‘This directive and arrangement supersede earlier communication on the matter. All concerned are, therefore, required to strictly adhered, please,’ the statement added.

Nasarawa State Government had disclosed that the state has so far recorded 15 dead victims, including the former Provost of the College of Education, Akwanga, Dr Rebecca Umaru, since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Speaking at the enlarged meeting of the COVID-19 council at Government House, Lafia, the then acting governor who is also the COVID-19 taskforce Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, disclosed that total patients discharged stood at 668 between March and December 2020.

The Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Akabe, stressed the need for the state to take measures to curtail the spread of the virus, considering the proximity of the state to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which is among the cities with a high number of positive cases.

‘We are aware of what is happening now in the world as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, there has been an upsurge and we never knew that it was going to affect us this much.

‘In Nasarawa, the surge has come, it is real. We had gone as low as below 100 positive cases diagnosed, but in the last one month it has become a different story altogether,’ he said.