The management of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) has made compulsory the use of face masks on its campuses over concerns about a third wave of COVID-19 in the country.

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The federal government had on Sunday placed six states and the FCT on red alert following the emergence and possible rising cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 infection.

The affected states, which are spread across four of the country’s six geopolitical zones of the south-west, south-south, north-west, and north-central are Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, and the nation’s capital, FCT.

In a statement, Siminialayi Iyeopu, chairman of UNIPORT’s Steering Committee on COVID-19, quoted Owunari Georgwill, the institution’s vice-chancellor, as mandating members of the varsity community to take precautions.

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According to NAN, Iyeopu stated that the university is worried about the rising number of new COVID cases and hospitalisation in Nigeria.

He added that the measure is aimed at curbing the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus into university campuses.

“So, the mandatory use of face masks shall commence effective Monday, July 19, in UNIPORT,” the professor said.

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“Every member of the university community must wear a face mask and observe all COVID-19 protocols for all indoor activities, including examinations and lectures, as well as meetings.

“All staff, students and visitors to UNIPORT are required to wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitisers while adhering strictly to social distancing regulations.”

The development comes a few days after the University of Lagos (UNILAG) had ordered students to leave its hostels while it also suspended physical classes to contain the spread of the novel disease.

The directive had come amid panic after the institution recorded an increase in the number of persons within the varsity community with symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

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