CAMP REOPENING: We’ll ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 protocols – NYSC DG

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The Director-General of National Youth Service Corps,NYSC,Brig.Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim has assured that activities in various camps of the scheme will be in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols,as the orientation camps reopen tomorrow Tuesday November 10.
NYSC DG stated this on Monday in Abuja during a media chat with Bureau Chiefs, Media Executives and Correspondents.
The event which was organized to inform relevant stakeholders on the scheme preparedness for its camp reopening had in attendance the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),Dr.Chikwe Ihekweazu,Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ FCT council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche,and Vice Chairman,Nigerian Institute of Public Relations,NIPR FCT chapter, Mr Stanley Ogadigo who represented the NIPR Chairman.
General Ibrahim said, following the ease of the COVID-19 lockdown and the approval from the Presidential Task Force for NYSC to make preparations for safe resumption of  Orientation Course, the Scheme has been working in liaison with the
NCDC to achieve the desired outcomes.
“As you are already aware, the Orientation exercises will resume on 10th November, 2020, starting with the 2020 Batch ‘B’ Stream 1A. As at
Thursday, 5th November, 2020, a total of sixty-six thousand (66,000) eligible graduates had been mobilized for the 2020 Batch ‘B’ Service Year. They will all participate in the Orientation exercise, which has been planned to take place in three streams for ease of compliance with the COVID-19 protocols. The dates for the three Streams are as follows:
i. Stream 1A Tuesday, 10th to Monday, 30th November, 2020;
ii. Stream 1B Thursday, 3rd to Tuesday, 22nd December, 2020; and
iii. Stream 2 Tuesday, 5th to Monday, 25th January, 2021.
“Already, we have put in place essential measures in all Orientation Camps nationwide in line with the protocols for the safety of Corps members and other members of the camp community.
The measures, which have been endorsed by the NCDC during its inspection of the Camps, include:
(a) Testing of Prospective Corps Members (PCMs) and Course officials for COVID-19 by NCDC Officials before admission into the Orientation Camps;
(b) Provision of hand washing points with adequate supply of water, liquid soap and sanitizer at strategic locations in all the camps;
(c) Limiting to a manageable size, the population of participants of each stream of the Orientation exercise;
(d) Spacing of hostel beds in line with the prescribed physical distancing rule, and for improved ventilation;
(e) Arrangement for staggered reporting of prospective Corps members to camp and increase in the number of registration points;
(f) Compulsory usage of face masks by all persons in the Orientation camps;
(g) Strict observance of COVID-19 protocols in all camp activities;
(h) Strengthening of the Camp Clinics to ensure sustained monitoring of body temperature of all course participants;
(i) Fumigation and decontamination of the camps; and
(j) Assigning of cleaning teams to carry out continuous cleaning of toilets and decontamination of frequently touched surfaces such as door and tap handles.
He stated that adequate enlightenment and a strategy for sensitization of the camp community on COVID-19 protocols has been developed in conjunction with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Information Officers of the Scheme have also been trained to ensure its proper implementation

Ibrahim also said NYSC in collaboration with NCDC will ensure that participating foreign graduates adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

He said in line with directives on social distancing, the scheme has scaled down activities in the orientation camps.
On the issue of looting occurred at various camps of the scheme, General Ibrahim said over 50 suspects have been arrested, he added that most of the stolen items had been returned through the assistance of the security agencies and members of the public.
He further stated that NYSC has secured conviction of unqualified persons arrested during the orientation course at various camps, he therefore advised parents to always monitor their wards ways of life.
While making his contributions, the NCDC DG, Dr.Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the reopening of NYSC orientation camps was as result of NCDC collaborative consultation with NYSC authorities and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF-COVID-19),he added that safety measures had been put in place to ensure the safe conduct of the 2020 NYSC orientation camp activities
“In addition to the interactive webinar over the weekend, today we will be providing updates on infection prevention control measures taken to ensure that activities in the camp are conducted safely in the context of COVID-19
“This is very important ahead of the reopening of NYSC camps tomorrow, the 10th of November
“Our corps members are young, mobile populations, who have been shown by our social data to have the lowest risk perception across age demographics however, epidemiological data has also shown a high no of infection among young people
” The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in other parts of the world is a reminder that the virus is still with us, and a second wave of infections is possible in Nigeria if we do not take collective responsibility
“The virus does not know the reason people congregate, whether it is for learning or partying, whatever it is, this virus takes opportunity of people coming together to spread
“Following our review of lessons learned thus far in response to the pandemic, we have worked with relevant stakeholders and partners to develop guidelines for safe reopening of our economy
“This include providing guidance for businesses, schools, airports and NYSC orientation camps to to reopen safely and limit the spread of the virus
“Over the past few weeks, we have worked with colleagues from NYSC, National Orientation Agency, State Ministries of Health and relevant personnel to introduce measures to limit the risk of COVID-19 exposure to Corp members during the orientation exercise.
“Readiness assessments have been conducted across NYSC camps to ensure that all camps meet the key performance indicators (KPIs) of COVID-19 preventive measures and are ready for safe opening
• This includes a compulsory screening test to be carried out for all Corps members, officials and vendors on arrival at the orientation camps using an antigen-based rapid diagnostic test kit approved by the World Health Organisation
“Finally, we must see COVID-19 prevention as our personal and collective responsibility. The virus is still with us so we cannot go back to business as usual
“Please wear a face mask in public settings, avoid large gatherings especially where public health and safety measures are not adhered to, maintain physical distance of at least two metres from the next person and wash your hands regularly with soap and running water
“We remain committed to protecting the health of Nigerians, however these measures can only be successful in protecting our youth Corpers and Nigerians in general if all parties play their role”
Earlier,in her welcome address, the Director, Public Affairs and Press,Mrs Adenike Adeyemi commended the media for the age long relationship with NYSC,she said the media remained critical partner of the scheme.
“Undeniably, today’s auspicious occasion underscores the high premium NYSC Management places on  the Fourth Estate of the Realm. Indeed, it is a clear indication of your abiding faith in our age long relationship.
“You are all welcome once again, more importantly, the Chairmen of our professional bodies, The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and The Nigerian Institute of Public
Relations (NIPR). Your presence at this event is an apt endorsement of this relationship which I pray is deepened, consolidated and sustained in the many years
ahead. We are most privileged to tap from your wealth of experience as we sustain professionalism and world best practices for the NYSC scheme.
“Motivation makes it possible to accomplish what you should accomplish, and this is
what Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has done for the scheme. The DG and staff of NCDC, NYSC appreciates the motivation you gave that has made a tremendous impact on the scheme and we will jealously guard this relationship.
She added that the Director General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has deemed it necessary to sustain a periodic engagement with the Media on prevailing issues of interest to the scheme and the nation at large.
“As partners in progress, today’s event offers another opportunity to solicit your support in according the NYSC sustained prominence in the Media space. Over the years, objective analysis, criticisms and feedback received from the broad spectrum of the Media and our publics have greatly impacted positively on our capacity to
operate as a responsible, responsive and result oriented organization. The NYSC management which is Media friendly and committed to sustaining transparency in the administration of the Scheme is grateful to our Media partners”. Adeyemi added.
She then expressed appreciation to the NYSC Director General, for his five focal areas of policy direction which she said has revolutionized and strategically placed the scheme as a frontline National Institution in the socio-economic agenda of the Nation.

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