John Eke, the Commissioner for Education said the closure was part of proactive steps taken to contain the spread of the disease in the state.
The state government embarked on the measure to effectively control and contain the spread of the dreaded lassa virus which has claimed some lives including two medical doctors. According to Eke, the lassa outbreak in the state was not alarming, but noted that the closure of schools was done to check the disease spreading into schools.
While noting that the incidence of the outbreak is not yet alarming, he explained how the fever is spreading.
“A woman yesterday (Wednesday, January 17), was diagnosed positive of the virus and this patient has her children in schools,” he said. “We believe that one of the best ways to handle the situation is to shut down our schools until we are sure that our pupils and students are safe.
“The schools will remain shut for seven school days to enable us monitor the situation and we appeal to parents, guardians and school authorities to comply with the directive,” Mr. Eke said.
Also, the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, NOFIC, Abakaliki has evacuated its patients over the outbreak of Lassa fever at the nearby Virology Centre of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA.
The State House of Assembly on Wednesday summoned contractors that built the N350 million ultra-modern virology centre to appear before it over allegations that they did not fully equip the centre after they were paid by the state government.
Both NOFIC and the Virology Centre were built by the state government and taken over by the federal government.
The institutions are both located inside the premises of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, with a wall separating the two.