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COVID-19: UI To Adopt Virtual Learning As Three Professors Reportedly Dies From Virus

The University of Ibadan has revealed plans to utilize virtual classes for the rest of the 2020/2021 academic sessions due to the recent surge of COVID-19 in the university.

The increasing COVID-19 cases call for caution and proactive actions which includes a review of the mode of teaching and learning, the university noted.

The decision to implement a mixed form of teaching on campus for the remainder of the ongoing second-semester assessment,
was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the university’s Registrar, Olubunmi Faluyi.

Although the cause of death of three of the University’s don was not disclosed, their deaths, on further investigation, was revealed to be caused by the ravaging Covid-19 virus. Also, the statement confirmed that the university’s main campus, college of medicine, and college hospital all reported a spike in coronavirus cases.

The statement:

Death of dons

David Olaleye, one of the late academicians, was a major member of the Oyo State COVID-19 task committee and the head of the clinical virology laboratory where the state’s COVID-19 testing is conducted.

The result of a laboratory test that verified Mr Olaleye’s positive status was only acquired after his death, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

On July 27, he died of complications from the condition, according to reports.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State expressed his condolences to Mr Olaleye’s family, stating that he served the state and humanity while living.

Furthermore, two more professors, Bankole Oke of the Department of Veterinary Medicine with a specialization in veterinary anatomy, and Anthony Ologbobo of the faculty of agricultural science’s department of animal science are said to have died as a result of the epidemic.

The three were regarded as industrious and dutiful collegiates by a university professor who spoke to this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

A school official, who also not to be named because he was not authorized to talk on the subject, claimed the university was just attempting to manage the information.

The information circulating that the academics were previously vaccinated before their deaths, according to the source, is incorrect, he stated.

“Our findings have shown that they were not all vaccinated. In fact, the virologist too was not yet vaccinated before his death,” the source said.
Meanwhile, since Oyo State reported the Delta variant of the virus some weeks ago, coronavirus cases in the state have increased significantly.

Virtual classes

The university administration stated that the rising number of COVID-19 instances necessitates vigilance and aggressive measures, including a reassessment of teaching and learning methods.

It further said that all residents, employees, and users of the campus’s facilities must follow COVID-19 guidelines.

The statement reads in part: “This is to inform the University community that management has requested the faculties to identify the courses to be taught online and those to be taught physically en route to the commencement of the blended mode of teaching and learning for the remaining part of the second semester of the 2020/2021 session.”

The registrar said the decision was based on the proposal submitted to the Committee of Provosts and Deans (CoPD), by the Emergency Remote Teaching Committee (ERTC) at a meeting which was held on August 11.

The statement added: “More cases of Covid-19 are being announced nationwide. These call for caution and proactive actions which should take into consideration, in the main, the review of the mode of teaching and learning in the second semester and, as a consequence, provide a safe way to undertake pedagogical activities on Nigerian university campuses,” adding that “The ERTC platforms and tools (LMS, Zoom, Youtube, Gsuite accounts, telegram fora, solution clinics) should be maintained for use by students and staff in all cases.”

The management also said If the situation worsens on campus, full online engagement should be mounted for all courses, exempting only departments and units with special needs with the condition that evident strict compliance with the protocols will be observed.
It also added that arrangements are ongoing to make vaccines available for all students and staff of the university.

Increasing cases

Nigeria continues to battle the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic with the presence of the deadly Delta variant.
The country has recorded 7,613 cases within two weeks raising the total number of infections in the country to 182,503, according to an update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
The figure is higher than the 6,290 cases recorded in the four weeks from July 1 to 31.

So far, 2,219 fatalities have been reported with 68 fatalities recorded in the past two weeks indicating a full-blown third wave in the country.

Amidst this, Nigeria commenced the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination on Monday. Almost four million people have already been vaccinated in the first phase which commenced on March 5, 2021.

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