The Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Adebola Ekanola, has denied the viral reports in the media that 10 COVID-19 related deaths were recorded in the university.
Contrary to the viral report, Ekanola said that COVID-19 related deaths had been prevented in the university community through adherence to protocols and by giving prompt medical interventions.
The VC spoke on Friday during a virtual meeting of deans and heads of the departments of university organised by the University of Ibadan COVID-19 Emergency Response Team.
Expressing worries on the public disposition to COVID-19 precautions, he 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.”
The Director of Public Communication, UI, Mr Tunji Oladejo, said, “I want to use the cover of this medium to deny the story. The acting VC 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. And before the story was a bulletin. The story did not add up at all.”
The UI Bulletin, dated 19th July, 2021, titled, ‘Delta variant: Compliance with COVID-19 protocols,’ read in parts, “Management has noted the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the recently discovered Delta variant and the placement of some states (including Oyo State) on red alert by the Federal Government.
“The fact that the 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 the 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 because it has been observed that though level of knowledge of necessary precautions is high, level of implementation/compliance is low.
“All hands must be on deck, especially in the halls of residence, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Each person must take direct responsibility of his/her health safety.
“No unauthorized visitors. No unscreened travellers/visitors. No squatters. Right use of facemasks by everyone. Wash hands. Always observe physical/social distancing. Violators of health safety protocols must be promptly reported to appropriate authorities.”
Speaking at the meeting on Friday, the Head, Department of Virology, Prof. Georgina Odaibo, stated that tests done at the university’s Department of Virology indicated that the infection rate had gone up from about 1.5 per cent in April, 2.8 per cent in May, to 12 per cent by June ending and 16 per cent in July.
Odaibo, who stressed the importance of adherence to protective measures, said that disregarding them could lead to epidemic in the university.
Indicating that compliance with COVID-19 protective protocol had been fully enforced at religious centres within the university, the Director, University of Ibadan Health Services, Dr Aderonke Ajav, described hygiene maintenance as the responsibility of all.
The Coordinator, UI COVID-19 Emergency Response Committee, Prof. Victoria Adetunji, said the enlightenment programme became necessary because of the incidents of Delta Variant of the virus in the country.
She said, “The steep increase in daily cases (of the virus) in Nigeria since July called for adequate precautions.”