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COVID-19: Corps Members Express Fear As NYSC Reopens Camp Tuesday

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Some members of the National Youth Service Corps have expressed fear over the reopening of orientation camps across the country.

In separate interviews with our correspondent, the corps members described reopening of Orientation Camps as risky.

In a bid to also curb the spread of coronavirus, NYSC banned all forms of religious gatherings on its orientation camps.

But some of the prospective corps members expressed doubt over their safety on camp.

One of them who has been posted to Sokoto, Akande A., said, “I am scared but I have no choice. I will ensure that I follow the guidelines and hope others will do that too. I put my hope in God.”

On her part, another prospective corps member, Tunji Ola, urged that there should be adequate provisions for emergency situations.

“I don’t think it is a big deal. We only need to be careful and follow the instruction. I just hope that NYSC has made enough provisions for eventualities. Some of my friends are scared but I have confidence that I would return safely,” she added.

Another prospective corps member, Taiwo A., said, “They should not allow COVID-19 to spoil the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity of camping. I am eager to resume. If politicians are holding campaigns, why can’t we go to camp? It is scary but we need to consider the advantage.”

An Enugu-bound prospective corps member, Ikechukwu, suggested an online NYSC camping programme.

“In my opinion, we can have this thing online or give us an option of joining online. It is not just about safety at the NYSC camp. Some of us will be travelling long distances, how are we going to be sure of the COVID-19 status of the next passenger. The Federal Government should know that some of us are forced to attend against our will,” he added.

This was as prominent virologist, Prof Oyewale Tomori, likened the move by the NYSC to an invitation to disaster.

The Director-General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, disclosed on Friday that corps members would be allowed on the NYSC approved camps nationwide from January 19, 2021.

Tomori said the reopening of the NYSC camps at this time was not safe for the country.

He said, “Having people together from different locations in the same place without face masks, washing of hands and the rest is an invitation to disaster.

“The issue of mobilisation, just like reopening of schools, should not be encouraged. Anywhere we have a congregation of people should not be encouraged.  The virus is found almost all over the country, so if you are bringing people from different places, regions, and locations to camp in a place then it’s not a wise thing to do.”

 

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