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COVID-19: Ghana To Shut Schools Again After Students, Teachers Tests Positive

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At least fifty-five persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in a high school in Ghana, just a week after schools were re-opened.

This was contained in a joint statement signed by Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, director-general, Ghana Education Service (GES); and Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director-general, Ghana Health Service (GHS), yesterday.

The country’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo had announced that graduating senior secondary students can resume on June 22, adding that the while those in junior and tertiary schools would resume earlier.

Both GHS and GES said the 55 infected persons were among the 314 staff and students of Accra Girls Senior High School who were tested for the virus.

Following the first report of COVID-19 cases in some Senior High Schools in the country on 6th July, 2020, the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service instituted a number of measures to determine the extent of the outbreak and containment measures. Accra Girls Senior High School has recorded most cases from the first report to date,” the statement read.

“As at 13th July, 2020, a total of 314 persons (student and staff) from the School have been tested. Out of these, 55 have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 while 259 persons tested negative.”

Measures taken so far by the government agencies, includes identification and segregation of infected persons, as well as disinfection of schools.

According to the statement, sample collection and laboratory testing of all contacts identified and suspected cases have commenced, while adequate personal protective equipment have been provided to health workers stationed in schools.

All confirmed cases have been transferred to designated national treatment and isolation centres for management,” it read.

Other measures listed included “restriction of number of students that attend dining at a particular time, enforcement of social distancing protocols, enhanced hand hygiene practices and the proper use of the facemask.”

Education on COVID-19 prevention and control has been intensified within the school. Counselling and psychological support is being provided to the students,” they added.

The school has designated a quarantine and isolation centre. Parents and guardians of affected students have been duly contacted. Staff of the school have been reassured.”

According to the statement, similar measures are being implemented in other schools where cases have been reported.

Yesterday Naija News reported that a rise in COVID-19 cases amongst pupils and teachers in Israel, has led to the closure of schools across the country, just three weeks after the schools were reopened.

In Nigeria,About two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari  approved the “safe reopening” of schools nationwide for graduating pupils and students.

Naija News reports that this reopening would mark the next phase of the gradual easing of lockdown ordered to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).

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