All 1,167 second cycle schools in Ghana have been directed to set aside one dormitory block to be used as a COVID-19 isolation center as schools reopen Monday, June 22, 2020.
Ghana has begun to “strategically” ease restrictions after the country’s first COVID-19 case compelled the government to shut down all public and private schools for close to three months.
Following the country’s first phase of relaxing restrictions, final year students in various Universities are already back on campus to write their exit examinations.
Delivering his 12th speech on Sunday ahead of reopening of Senior High Schools, President Akufo-Addo outlined some of the enhanced measures to prevent a possible spread of the virus in schools.
“One dormitory block in each senior high school is to be used as an isolation centre, in the event of a student falling sick. Again, each SHS has been mapped to a health facility, and care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools.”
He continued: “A total of eighteen thousand (18,000) Veronica Buckets, eight hundred thousand (800,000) pieces of two hundred millilitre sanitizers, thirty-six thousand (36,000) rolls of tissue paper, thirty-six thousand (36,000) gallons of liquid soap, and seven thousand, two hundred (7,200) thermometer guns have been distributed.”
Even before school reopens tomorrow, experts have warned that Senior High Schools across Ghana could become hot spots for the spread of the novel Coronavirus as the country race with time to ease restrictions.
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) had been proposing a mass COVID-19 testing of students, teaching and non-teaching staff of Senior High Schools (SHSs) before they are re-opened.
National President of CHASS, Alhaji Yacoub Abubakar had said with such an exercise, students with the virus can easily be identified and isolated to prevent them from spreading it to others.
“Those who are negative, they are welcome to come to school and those who are seen to be positive, immediately the necessary measures are taken to treat them. While the students are in school, we have also requested that certain things should be put in place to ensure the safety of the students,” he said.
“Schools, in general, have crowded situations so we have suggested that given the current situation that we are in with COVID-19 we should first of all start by allowing the final year students to come,” Alhaji Abubakar stressed.
The country’s COVID-19 cases currently stand at 14,154 with 85 deaths.