As anxious parents scratch their heads over whether it was a wise decision to send their wards to school amid the covid-19 outbreak, seven schools in the Western Region have confirmed the virus.
Nsein SHS in Nzema East; Shama SHS, in Shama District; Adiembra, Ahantaman, St John’s and Archbishop Porters senior high schools in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis and the Asankragwa SHS in Amenfi West have confirmed the disease.
This brings to nine the number of senior high schools in the country that have reported the contagion ever since the students returned to school mid-June.
Apart from the seven schools, Accra Girls SHS in the Greater Accra Region and Mpraeso Senior High in the Eastern Region, have all reported cases of the virus, which has infected more than 23,000 people in Ghana.
Among the seven schools in the Western Region, Nsein recorded the most cases with eight students, testing positive for the virus, while five remain in quarantine, awaiting their results.
The other schools have at least one infection each, while the regional health directorate awaits the remaining results of more than 50 samples taken.
The Western Region Health Directorate blames the high number of cases in the Nsein SHS on overcrowding, warning that there could be an explosion of cases.
“For Nsein Senior High School, the overcrowding is too much. That reflects in their covid-19 cases. Out of 14, eight tested positive.
“Their accommodation is woefully inadequate. They have 900 students. They are joined by the day students and those on the gold track [second year]. We fear that there will be an explosion in that school. But the rest are all manageable,” the Western Regional Health Director, Dr Jacob Mahama, said.
The directorate picked the cases from situational reports from the respective health directorates.
The infected student showed symptoms of the disease on campus, compelling the health authorities to quarantine and take samples from the affected students.
The samples were collected on Wednesday, July 8, and brought to Accra, and some of the results received on Friday, July 10.
Dr Mahama said while some of the students tested negative, those who had the virus were in isolation, receiving treatment.
Asked about plans to prevent a further spread of the disease, he said contact tracing had begun while the students in Nsein are being treated in a school block that was not being used.
“For the rest of the population will receive Vitamin C tablets to build their immunity,” he explained.
He advised the school authorities to ensure social distancing in the classrooms, which he stated was easy to enforce but added that the health authorities could not vouch for the dormitories.
“For the rest of the secondary schools, it [accommodation] is not perfect, but it is okay. If they wear their mask and practice social distancing,” he said.
The reported cases come on the heel of angry parents of students of Accra Girls SHS storming the school to demand for their wards.
Before the reopening of schools, some civic society organisations and a section of the public warned against a potential spread of the disease.
Nigeria and Kenya have suspended the rest of the school year as fears of spikes in schools increase.
South Korea and Beijing, China’s capital, closed down schools as the virus flared up weeks into the reopening of schools.
Please send us your articles for publication via email@example.com
Latest News In Ghana – Click Here to Read Our Latest News Stories