The management of University of Ibadan has cleared the air over the recent circulating statement that caused fear amongst the university community on Friday, 23rd of July, 2021 with regards to death toll of COVID-19 patients in the university.
Renouned news publishing agency, Sahara Reporters had earlier reported the incident on July 23rd, 2021 in a publication titled: “About 10 persons Died From COVID-19 in University of Ibadan- Vice Chancellor” claimed that 10 persons had died from the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
In the publication, Sahara Reporters mentioned that “the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Adebola Ekanola, on Friday said that about 10 deaths were recorded from people in the university due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Click here to read full story.
Upon the circulation of this publication, the university community was plunged into disarray with students, lecturers and parents alike experiencing a spike in anxiety with regards to their safety of themselves and their wards that are currently writing exams of first semester 2020/2021 academic session.
Earlier this week, in a virtual meeting with Deans and Head Of Departments of the university organized by UI COVID-19 Emergency Response Team.
The Ag Vice-chancellor, Prof Ekanola said, “there has been a lot of laxity on personal protective measures because many assumed that they are safe from the infection. Although, the university so far is lucky not to have been badly affected by the pandemic, the students and staff of the institution need to take charge and be responsive in ensuring that no COVID-19 case is recorded in the university.”
Also, the Head of UI Department of Virology, Professor Georgina Odaibo, stated that tests done at the University’s Department of Virology indicated that positivity rate had gone up from about 1.5 percent in April, 2.8 percent in May, 12 percent by June ending and 16 percent in July.
However, on Saturday 24th July 2021, the university’s Director of Public Communications, Olatunji Oladejo while speaking to newsmen clarified the statement of the Ag Vice-chancellor.
He said,”the Acting Vice-Chancellor said if we had not been proactive enough on the compliance with the COVID-19 protocols, we could have recorded up to 10 deaths arising from the third wave variant” In his statement, he further mentioned, “Where were the families and names of those who are dead, either members of staff or students arising from COVID-19 difficulties, complications, confusions, and barriers, even if the Acting VC actually said it?” he further stressed that “the fact that University of Ibadan Health Services has not recorded any confirmed case of COVID-19 or an increase in flu-related/flu-like symptoms (for this season/time of the year) in the last three months, suggests that if we are proactive in observing all health safety protocols, we can effectively prevent and spare UI community from the third wave/new variant of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hence, it is important that we fully implement all recommended precautions at all levels.” Also, the Coordinator, UI COVID-19 Emergency Response Committee, Prof. Victoria Adetunji, told newsmen that the Acting Vice-Chancellor never said we lost 10 people to COVID-19.
Although, he further adviced that all hands much be on deck, especially in the halls of residence in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic stating that each persons must take direct responsibility of his or her health safety.
The recent COVID-19 outbreak in UNILAG had necessitated the university to take proactive steps towards ensuring such doesn’t happen in University of Ibadan. Upon the discovery of the Delta variant of the virus in UNILAG, all physical academic process were suspended and every student was mandated to vacate the university premises. Therefore all individuals are advised to observe the COVID-19 preventive guidelines to ensure safety