Eleven students writing this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Gombe State have tested positive for COVID-19.
They have been isolated at the state specialist hospital from where they would be writing their papers under strict supervision.
Confirming this yesterday, chairman of the state’s task force on COVID-19, Prof. Idris Mohammed, said out of the 11 cases, one from the Government Science Secondary School later tested negative after treatment and was re-united with his family.
According to him, nine students from Government Girls Secondary School, Doma, a student of Government Girls Secondary School, Kumo, also tested positive.
He said out of 11,220 people tested in the state, 684 were confirmed positive out of which 594 were treated and discharged.
“Sixty-seven active cases are in isolation, while 23 deaths had been recorded,” he added.
The task force boss noted that the North East Development Commission (NEDC) had approved the establishment of molecular laboratory in the state.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Habu Dahiru, applauded Governor Muhammad Yahaya for his proactive measures against the menace, adding that the government gave priority to unity schools because they drew patronage from across the states of the federation.
He noted that “the state also works with private schools” by ensuring that they comply with safety protocols.
Consequently, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said that the cases of infection among students sitting for the WASSCE calls for more vigilance in the education and other sectors.
PTF noted that the country’s testing infrastructure had been increased to take up to 15,000 tests per day, even as the country was testing between 3,000 and 6,000 daily due to people’s reluctance to submit themselves for tests.
Chairman of PTF/Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who disclosed this at the panel’s briefing yesterday in Abuja, noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had issued warnings on Vaccine Nationalism and that young people were aiding the spread of the virus.
He said: “It would border on extreme selfishness for our youths to believe that since they are asymptomatic carriers they can carry on with life as they please. Being asymptomatic does not guarantee immunity forever.”
“The PTF is, however, encouraged by the fact that majority of our youths are in the vanguard of this fight and still call on the few non-conforming ones to join. This call becomes more imperative when we realise that from an initial 10 hotspot councils in the country, we moved to 16 and now 20, indicating spread to other areas.”