School reopening: COVID-19 tests unnecessary - PTF

PTF national coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu
Emeh Joy

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has asserted that resuming students should rather be monitored for symptoms of coronavirus instead of making negative COVID-19 test result a requirement for every student to return to the classroom.

Clacified reported earlier that with school resumption for graduating classes in Ogun state, the state requested that all the private secondary school students will have to pay a sum of N25,000 for a COVID-19 test. In contrast, those in the public schools get the test done for free.

This, parents of the students in the private schools strongly kicked against saying the government was discriminating between students in public schools and those in private schools.

Reacting to that development during a briefing in Abuja, the PTF National coordinator, Sani Aliyu, announced that a negative COVID-19 test result is only valid for the moment it was conducted.

Thus, he advised school managements to watch out instead for symptoms of the virus amongst students and ask that such students seek medical attention.

Aliyu said, "Regarding the cost for students who are testing for COVID-19, our protocol is very clear when it comes to indications for testing, and it is also important to realize that when you do a COVID-19 test if you get a negative test result, it is only valid for that period of time - for that point in time when you have taken it.

"The next day, you could have a positive result, especially if you are in the incubation period. Therefore, the validity of a negative test is quite limited.

"It is far more important to monitor for symptoms to check for temperature, to make sure students that have symptoms like cough or any other respiratory symptoms are told to stay back at home and seek medical attention.

"It will be far more useful than doing COVID-19 test before they resume".

He further stressed that those who are more susceptible to the viral infection are the elderly.

"It is not really the young ones who will be an issue but the old ones. When we protect ourselves, we also protect our loved ones who could be put in an unsafe condition", he said.

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