The orientation camp closure by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), nationwide over the fear of coronavirus, also known as COVID-9, is no longer news, but the corpers affected by this development are the best to narrate the first-hand effect.
With this closure, 2020, Batch- A Stream 1 Corps members stay at the orientation camp has been cut short by 12 days.
According to a statement by the NYSC, the corps members are to prosed to their place of primary assignment.
“Sequel to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which led to the cancellation of the national sports festival, management of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme wishes to announce the suspension of the on-going orientation course for the 2020 Batch “A” stream 1 corps members.”
The statement also added that “Therefore, the corps members shall be posted to commence their primary assignments forthwith, while they shall be invited back to the orientation camps when the situation improves, just like it happened a few years ago when the nation was confronted by the Ebola virus threat. “Management wishes to state that no corps member or camp official has contracted the virus.”
It would be recalled that at the opening of the orientation camp, that NYSC had assured that it would put necessary proactive measures in place to ensure that the corps members are protected from contacting the coronavirus rocking the world.
When Everyeveryng contacted some of the affected corps members, they had different stories to tell about their reactions to the orientation camp closure and the promised proactive measures by NYSC.
Lagos Orientation Camp
A corps members posted to Lagos State who gave her name as Jane said closing the orientation camping abruptly was not a step in the right direction.
“I do not think the camp should be close, because we are open to a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus as we go to a larger world. I think the camp is safer for us.”
According to her, the corps members in Lagos Camp were only given hand sanitizer on their palms when they entered the camp with few hand washing points within the camp.
Jane also added that masks were not provided for them. She also said as at 10:12 am; they are yet to be issued their posting letters as many of the corps members are happy to leave.
She, however, noted that they are yet to get their allowance, as announced by NYSC. It would be recalled that all the three confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria so far are from residents of Lagos State.
Sokoto Orientation Camp
Another Corps Member who spoke Everyeveryng from Sokoto State orientation camp introduced herself to Vera said the notice of the camp closure was given as early as 6 am today.
Vera noted that there no adequate provision of precautionary measures on the camp as hand sanitizers were only given to them.
She, however, added that though some of the serving corps members are worried about the spread of coronavirus, closing the camp was not the right thing to do.
Vera hinted that as at 9:30 am; they were yet to get their posting letters and allowance.
She said, “it is not good that the camp was closed just like that, we will miss a lot of things like the match past and the fun of being here. Many of us are not worried, only a few are so I don’t know the need for all of these problems.”
Other serving corps members currently on camp in Abuja and Akwa- Ibom State said there was no adequate provision of hand sanitizers, and people are not worried about the spread of the coronavirus.
They also added that they are yet to collect their allowance and posting letter.
This development is coming after the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) called for a one or two-month postponement of the orientation camping to prevent corps members and other persons from contracting coronavirus in camps.