Schools will only be shut down if coronavirus infection rate reaches 15% – Deputy Health Minister

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The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, has stated that the government will only close down Senior High Schools when more than 15% of a school population contract COVID-19.

His reactions come after the National Council of Parents Teachers Association (NCPTA) called on the government to consider closing down all reopened schools to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Following the development, some unions including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) have called on the government to close down schools.

A statement signed by the National President for The National Council of Parents Teachers Association (NCPTA), Alex Danso, said the call for the immediate closure of schools is a result of close monitoring of the cases in the Schools.

According to the statement, in the current circumstances, the children are psychologically unstable and would therefore not be of sound mind to write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) successfully.

The council is calling on the government to postpone the WASSCE and BECE examinations until the pandemic is brought under control.

Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, speaking on the closure said the school will be closed when 15% of the students are infected.

Speaking on Accra-based Asempa FM, he said “If you have 500 students in the school if you get 35 that amounts to 7% of the number. We either make them go home or find a way to deal with them separately.

“We as a government, there are two things that will make us consider a particular school to either make them go home, unblock to write [exams] from home or deal with them separately.

“The allowed percentage is 7%. If you have 14 or 15 % of the school population, it is alarming. 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.”

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