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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Schools will only be shut down if Covid-19 infection rate reaches 15% – Deputy Health Minister

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Government says it has adopted a threshold that will inform the decision to close down a school.

According to the Deputy Health Minister Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, if cases of Covid-19 go beyond 15 percent of a school’s population, it will be shut down.

This comes on the back of agitation by wards who are protesting the Accra Girls’ Senior High School’s refusal to allow them access to their children after the institution recorded Covid-19 cases.

At least 55 students of the school have tested positive for the virus.

But Dr Okoe Boye explained on Asempa FM that government will strictly act when a particular reach the threshold.

“If you have 500 students in the school, if you get 35 that amounts to seven percent of the number. We either make them go home or find a way to deal with them separately. The allowed percent is 7 percent. If you have 14 or 15 percent 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,” he said on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service (GES) said it is working various options to ensure Covid 19 positive final year senior high students do not miss out on the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.

Over 60 students in various schools have been confirmed positive for the Coronavirus and though the examination is over 4 weeks away, the GES says it has developed a plan that will ensure these students fully participate in the examination.

Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku Agyemang, said “in the worst scenario, where they are not able to join their colleagues, there are various options that are available for them.

“If they’re not able to write, the nearest examination, same examination, the nearest one, we’ll make arrangement with WAEC for them to be able to write. And when that comes, that cost will still be borne by government.

“If for any reason, the child is writing the exam and then in the course of it the child is ill, not only Covid, what WAEC does is that they have something that they call the clemency rule they are able to project marks for the students.”

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