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Wike reopens schools amidst second wave of COVID -19

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Rivers State Government on Saturday says public and private schools are to open on January 4 for normal academic activities, ignoring a second wave of coronavirus that has forced other states to shut schools and other public places.

It was also a breakaway from earlier position of Governor Nyesom Wike, who had on Monday threatened to re-impose lockdown in January, following the increased cases of COVID-19 and the reluctance of churches and trading places to adhere to the compulsory wearing of face masks.

The federal government in December said schools are to remain closed until at least January 18.

Chidi Adiele, Rivers education ministry’s permanent secretary, said in a statement that Mr. Wike has approved the opening of all schools in the state from January 4, adding that it was in line with the school calendar published in August 2020.

Mr. Adiele urged schools to maintain all COVID-19 Protocols, including the wearing of face masks, the use of hand sanitisers and the morning and afternoon classes to avoid overcrowding.

Since December 18 when schools went on the Yuletide holidays, the state has recorded about 258 new cases of COVID-19. A check on the official Twitter handle of the Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operations Center shows.

Federal disease control office predicted on Tuesday that there would be more cases of COVID-19 in January 2021, lamenting a widespread lack of compliance with public safety guidelines throughout the Yuletide.

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