Ghana’s Health Minister, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu says the Akufo-Addo government would not be pressured to close down Senior High Schools amid an increase in cases in schools.
The Health Minister said the present coronavirus cases in some schools were not enough to dismiss the student’s home, adding that the government was committed to deal with the outbreak and safeguard all the students in schools with cases of the virus.
Mr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu speaking to media after inspecting some hospital projects in the Greater Kumasi said “closing down schools is defeatist and a cowardly person’s approach to solving problems, consequently we won’t be pressured to do so”.
“When we are confronted with problems, we don’t go back and say we have withdrawn but fight and overcome them. Look elsewhere especially, America where the numbers are huge but they are opening schools,” he said justifying the government’s position.
He said no one could predict when the pandemic would end, so shutting down schools was not a step in the right direction, but to confront the challenge head-on
“We will fight the disease and do things that would solve the challenges that we have to protect the children. We all care about them because some of us have kids in the senior high schools,” he assured.
The Health Minister disclosed that preliminary investigation into the outbreak pointed to congestion in affected schools and that the case management team was exploring the option of decongesting such schools.
Kwaku Agyemang commenting on mass testing of students, said such move was not the panacea to the situation, adding that it would overwhelm the testing centres who were already dealing with a backlog of test results.
The Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Okoe Boye disclosed that 110 cases in 34 schools had so far been recorded out of over 400,000 students in affected schools, insisting that the data did not warrant closure of schools at this point.
According to him, measures had been put in place in place to pick out suspected cases in schools for immediate care and assured parents that their wards were safe in the school environment.