Forget using schools as isolation centres - Proprietors to FG

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Forget using schools as isolation centres - Proprietors to FG

Private school owners (proprietors) under the umbrella of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools have said they weren’t ready to convert their facilities to isolation centres.

This is coming after the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday said that the Federal Government would require hotels and school dormitories as quarantine and isolation centres because of a shortage of hospital beds.

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that due to the increasing number of cases amid hospital bed shortage, hotels and schools could be required as isolation centres. He said,

“We need to continue increasing bed capacity to match the probable number of patients so that we do not experience horrific scenes of bed space shortages seen in some European hospitals.

In event of overflow, we can require hotels and school dormitories to be prepared for level 1, which is quarantine, and level 2, is the isolation of COVID-19 positive with zero or mild symptoms, to free hospital beds to be dedicated to level 3, which are moderate to severe cases, and level 4, which is for the high dependency and the intensive care unit.”

However, school proprietors have rejected the idea, saying there were other public places such as moribund hospital complexes that the government could convert to isolation centres.

The President of NAPPS, Chief Yomi Otubela, said that before the health minister suggested the idea, they had already rejected it. He said,

“I don’t know how many of the Western countries whose methods we are copying use schools as isolation centres; I have not seen any. We should copy and copy rightly.

Schools are meant for children and we should not use them for a purpose that will make them abandon schooling.

Private school owners reject this idea. In fact, private schools should be considered for reopening because it is easy to maintain physical distancing than in public schools because they are usually crowded.

Private school owners will not and never allow the use of their facilities for isolation centres.”

Otubela said there were many public places that the government could convert to isolation centres.

“There are large expanses of land and moribund hospital facilities that the government can quickly fix and use for isolation centres,” he added.

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