- Two students injured as parents withdraw wards from private,public schools
- Bayelsa Govt suspends all health activities in schools
Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital was on Friday thrown into panic as parents swooped on both public and private schools to withdrawal pupils over fear that soldiers planned to inject them with monkey pox.
Two students were reported to have been injured by a moving vehicle while rushing to get home in the panic.
An eyewitness, Madam Ebitare, said the incident occurred at about noon. The injured kids were immediately rushed to a hospital.
The panic led to closure of both private and public schools to avoid stampede and disappearance of children from the school premises.
Nicholas Jones, a parent in Okaka area of the state capital, told reporters that many parents acted on a report that the military men involved in the largely rejected vaccination in the South East had moved to Bayelsa.
He said: “I received a call from my mom that people were rushing to schools to withdraw their children, that some soldiers were killing children with injection. They claimed the soldiers were moving from school to school.”
He said he rushed to his children’s school and withdrew them. “I did that to prevent any issue. Prevention is better than cure.” Another woman claimed to have been told that two pupils were injected with the deadly vaccine at the Wise One Comprehensive school at Akenfa area of the State capital.
Our correspondent observed that some private and public schools in Yenagoa, were shut and students sent home.
However, when Morning Mail visited some state-owned schools, such as the St. Jude Girls School and Kpansia Unity School, pupils were in class receiving their lectures.
Reacting to the development, the Bayelsa State Government suspended all forms of medical outreach programme in public and private schools.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson announced the suspension at a joint press briefing with his health counterpart, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu.
Iworiso-Markson said the government would monitor the situation and ensure strict compliance while urging the management of schools to verify the identities of those who come around their premises under any guise.
He described the development as deliberate misinformation and stressed that no such thing happened.
Prof. Etebu also debunked the rumor, describing it as unhealthy. He called on parents to return their children back to schools as the government is on top of the situation.
“I want to say that there is no vaccination against ‘MonkeyPox’. So proprietors of schools should not allow any stranger to come and administer such on their pupils. Anyone dressed in Army uniform, clinical or lab cloth injecting children should be reported”, the Commissioner said.
He added: “The rumor is unhealthy and we condemn it. As a government we are on top of the case and we will get to the root of where this falsehood emanated from”.
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