Violation of face mask use to attract 6 months jail term in Ogun

The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has declared that defaulters of the mandatory use of the face mask will be risking a six-month jail term.

Abiodun stated this yesterday in Abeokuta when he invoked the powers conferred on him by Regulation 7 of the Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations No. 2 of 2020 (the Regulations).

This, he said, was made pursuant to Section 33 of the Public Health Law of Ogun State (the Law) to mandate the compulsory wearing of face masks in public by all persons as part of measures to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

“Failure to do so is punishable by up to six months imprisonment under Regulation 8 of the Regulations and Section 68 of the Law. Only one passenger is still allowed for motorcycles and two passengers only for tricycles.

“Taxi cabs and buses still have 60 per cent limitation on their carrying capacity, and the measure to arrest and impound any driver that contravenes this in our state is still in force,” the governor said.

He also announced that all students in public schools, except those in the exit classes, have been granted automatic promotion to the next class, a move which signalled cancellation of the third term.

Gov Abiodun also disclosed that secondary schools would be reopened on August 4, 2020 to allow graduating students write their final examinations, as well as tentatively fixed the reopening of worship centres in the state for August 14, 2020.

According to him, preventive measures put in place ahead of the resumption included the decontamination of schools, training of teachers as first line responders, establishment of sick bays/isolation rooms in each school, provision of face masks and provision of infrared thermometers.

Other measures are a ban of the general school assembly although schools would be allowed to observe class assembly and provision of adequate supply of running water.                     School administrators in both the public and private sectors have been mandated to ensure they train their teachers on information and communication technology (ICT) for virtual engagement of students.

The state government warned that any school that failed to comply with these guidelines would not be allowed to reopen.

Abiodun said, “In line with the federal government’s resolutions, exit classes, that is SS3 only (public or private schools), will resume classes on Tuesday, 4th August, 2020. Then, there will be a two-week revision classes to prepare the SS3 students for the commencement of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) slated to start on Monday, 17th August, 2020.

“There are additional requirements for boarding schools, which the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will communicate to schools with boarding facilities before they can operate the facilities. These measures are also applicable to all private schools operating in Ogun State. It should be noted that any school, whether private or public, that fails to comply with these guidelines will not be allowed to reopen.

“Let me also state that with the exception of students in the exit classes, all students in our schools will enjoy automatic promotion to the next class. The Basic Certificate Examination (BECE), National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) and Common Entrance Examination into the 33 model schools with boarding facilities in our state will be announced on a later date.”