The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the University of Port Harcourt has faulted the purchase of 400 infrared thermometers by the University, which was procured as part of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as the institution plans to resume for academic activities on February 1, 2021.
The Chairman of ASUU in the University, Dr Austen Sado, in a live radio interview on Monday, said that the purchase of the infrared thermometers was not all that was required.
He said: “When you get to the academic area, you will have several classes going on. After you have checked the temperature, you have not completely dealt with the issue of Covid-19. So if somebody is asymptomatic and is in the classroom, his temperature is not likely going to show.”
“If there is not sufficient social distancing, and people are exposed to contamination, you haven’t done anything. So the thermometer is basic, but it is not all that is required,” he added.
Dr Sado also raised concerns over the condition of classrooms and hostels.
“There is no University in Nigeria, particularly with respect to the halls of residence, that can claim to have enough. So how that is to be managed, is not within the purview of ASUU, but ASUU has a right to insist that if it is not done right, our members will not expose themselves to the dangers of being infected.”
He also clarified that ASUU is not threatening to stop the resumption of classes, but is only interested in the safety of its members as they prepare to resume classes.
However, it appears the University of Port Harcourt is ready for the safe reopening of academic activities in line with COVID-19 preventive measures. For example, in addition to the 400 infrared thermometers for temperature checks, the University has an isolation and treatment centre.
Also, there is compulsory use of face mask on campus, and strict enforcement of this, such that taxis and buses cannot be boarded, without face masks on.
The University had previously fumigated all hostels and buildings on Campus and further installed handwashing facilities with running taps in every building and at entry points into the three campuses of the University.
In a telephone interview, the Public Relations Officer of the University of Port Harcourt, Mr Sam Kpenu, said that there will be plans to carry out online learning in classes where the number of students exceeds the number of available spaces in lecture halls.
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