Some students at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, were seen discarding their face masks and ignoring other COVID-19 safety protocols on Wednesday as soon as they passed through a health check at the university campus gate.

PREMIUM TIMES reporter, who monitored activities on the two campuses of the university, observed poor compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols by the majority of the students.

University of Uyo, like most other universities in Nigeria, has just resumed for the 2019/2020 academic session after about nine months’ nationwide strike by university lecturers.

Students are returning to classes amidst a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections across the country.

At the UNIUYO entrance gate, both at the town campus and its annex, health officials, assisted by security officials, were at hand to run temperature checks and to ensure students wore face masks before they could get inside the campuses.

But as soon as the students successfully passed through the check and were inside the campuses, they pulled off and pocketed their face masks, and then excitedly hugged one another, apparently to welcome themselves back from the long holiday.

Except for one hall – Onyema Ugochukwu Hall – in the town campus where a public lecture on COVID-19 was going on, there was no social distancing in all the lecture halls visited.

Students were seen reading in clusters and were chatting freely, without face masks, inside the lecture halls. There were no lecturers in any of the halls, indicating that lectures were probably yet to commence fully in the school.

“We are starting exams next week, so there won’t be classes till after exams,” said Aniedi Ekanem, a 200 level student in the Department of Education Technology.