One hundred and seventy-eight cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed both in the junior and senior high schools, with eight recoveries already recorded, a Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Oko Boye, has told Parliament.
He said all the confirmed cases were in good shape with either no symptoms or were in mild states.
“With over one million students, teachers and non-teachers involved in the reopening of schools, the percentage of infection stands at 0.0178. This is a rate that demands adherence to government protocols and not closure of schools,” he stated.
Presenting a statement on COVID-19 situations in the country on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr Oko Boye said, “there is absolutely no reason to close down schools because of recorded COVID-19 cases.”
He was responding to the call for the closure of all senior high schools (SHSs) due to positive cases recorded when schools re-opened.
Dr Oko Boye said disease epidemiology and health management would reveal that with Ghana’s positivity rate standing at seven per cent based on the tests the government had done so far, seven people on the average, were likely to be picked as positive cases for people tested in the country.
“A confirmed case anywhere, including SHSs is a reminder that the virus is around us and hence the need to take the protocols seriously,” he said.
Supply of PPE
To curb the spread among students, the medical doctor said the government had supplied reusable masks to all students with the knowledge that there could be some students who would be asymptomatic.
“We know that wearing the masks would allow them to recover with minimal chance of passing the virus on to others.
“If positive cases are being recorded at the workplace where parents are, what makes others demand that cases should not be recorded in schools?” he asked.
He added: “Government does not wish for cases to be recorded in senior high schools but it is the awareness that COVID-19 can be identified anywhere in the country that informed the provision of Veronica buckets, hundreds of thousands of sanitisers and other tools to the schools in preparation for reopening.”
He reiterated the President’s good luck message to all students who would be writing the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).