The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools has said it would not allow any of its facilities to be converted into isolation centres. 

President of the association, Yomi Otubela, told PUNCH that schools should be reopened rather than converted into a purpose that will make them inaccessible to students.

Otubela was reacting to the comments by Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, that school dormitories could be used to house COVID-19 patients to free up hospital beds for those in need of critical treatment. 

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He said, “I don’t know how many of the Western countries whose methods we are copying use schools as isolation centres; I have not seen any. We should copy and copy rightly. Schools are meant for children and we should not use them for a purpose that will make them abandon schooling.

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“Private school owners reject this idea. In fact, private schools should be considered for reopening because it is easy to maintain physical distancing than in public schools because they are usually crowded.

“Private school owners will not and never allow the use of their facilities for isolation centres.”

Otubela noted that there were many public places that the government could convert to isolation centres.

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“There are large expanses of land and moribund hospital facilities that the government can quickly fix and use for isolation centres,” he added.

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