Following the increase in coronavirus cases in Senior High Schools, the Government of Ghana will only consider a school closure if cases of the novel disease go beyond 15 percent of a school’s population, the Deputy Health Minister has said.
The Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Okoe Boye’s comment is in response to calls from the concerned citizenry, groups, stakeholders and the opposition NDC party for the government to close down schools as the locally transmitted coronavirus cases keeps increasing among students.
A joint statement issued by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) copied to Georgeweb.org confirmed that at least 55 students of the Accra Girls Senior High School (SHS) have tested positive for the novel COVID-19.
However, the Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku Constituency in an interview on Asempa FM monitored by Georgeweb.org said the Akufo-Addo led government will consider closing down schools when COVID-19 cases go beyond 15 percent of a school’s population.
The Deputy Health Minister gave an instance that “if you have 500 students in school and 35 tests positive for the virus representing seven percent of the number, We either dismiss them to go home or find a way to deal with them separately. The remaining is 7 percent. If you have 14 or 15 percent of the school population then it is alarming”.
He continued that “And the second one which is even the most alarming category is when morbidity is more than half the number you have. If half of your cases are sick, it means there might be many out there that you’ve not picked,”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service (GES) said it is considering various options to ensure students who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus do not miss the forthcoming 2020 WASSCE for school candidates scheduled for August 3, 2020.
According to the Education Service, it has put measures in place to ensure the over 60 students in various Senior High Schools (SHS) confirmed to be positive for the novel disease fully participate in the examination which is 4 weeks from today.
The Director-General of the Service, Professor Kwasi OPoku Amankwa said “in the worst circumstances, where such candidates are not able to join their colleagues, there are various options that are available for them”.
He furthered that “if they are not able to sit for the 2020 WASSCE, we will make arrangements with WAEC for them to be able to write at the appropriate time and when that happens the cost will be on the government”.
Professor Opoku Amankwa explained that “If for any reason, a candidate is writing the examination and then in the course of it he/she falls sick, not only COVID-19, WAEC has something they call the clemency rule that they use to project marks for the students.”