Cadets of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom, have been sent home as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
Rector of the Academy, Commodore Emmanuel Effedua(Rtd) said in an interview on Monday at the academy that the action was in line with the government’s directive and global health advise to ensure the cadets and the academy community stayed safe.
He added that it was actually needful for the cadets to go home, because of the closeness of the school location to neighbouring Cameroon and the fact that some seafarers who come for training could also expose the academy to greater risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “We have shut down, because we are most vulnerable. But most people don’t know that. Cameroon is just about one hour away by water, the boundaries are so porous.
“Secondly, we have seafarers who come from everywhere. You don’t know where they have been to, where their ships have been, who they have been in contact with and what they are carrying. So, we need to be cautious. That was why we asked the Cadets to go home on Friday. We had to comply with government’s directive to shut to have them go home.”
Staff members and visitors now have to be screened to check their body temperature and ensure they use hand sanitizer before entry into the academy premises.
Meanwhile, the new President General of the Oron Union, Bishop Etim Ante, who led some members of the Union on a courtesy visit to the Rector, lauded the his commitment to ensuring best practices and global standard in the academy’s activities.
Ante also thanked the Rector for supporting several high schools in Oron with learning materials and instructors for Information Communication Technology.
The President General expressed appreciation to the Rector for finding lasting solution to a crisis situation when some members of the community had to pass through the Academy to get to their location.
He noted that creating an alternative route for the host community and the establishment of a Naval Unit between Udung Okung and Idua Communities was very desirable as the security has reduced the rate of criminalities around the areas.
Effedua said that the President General of the Oron Union was simply visiting to establish contact since his assumption of office.