Confirmed COVID-19 cases in SHSs ‘negligible’ – Dep. Health Minister

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The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease in Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country have increased to 84, Deputy Health Minister, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye has said.

According to the Deputy Minister, the cases increased following numerous contact tracing that was done in the various SHSs where positive cases were recorded.

Speaking on ‘Anɔpa Bɔfoɔ’ on Angel 102.9 FM hosted by Captain Smart on Tuesday, 15th July, 2020, the Minister described this figure as ‘negligible’ as according to him, the country has more 500,000 students in various SHSs.

“When I summed all the cases, I realised we have about 84 cases nationwide and all these are asymptomatic patients who go about their normal activities just like the two of us…if you compare this figure to the about 840,000 students who are currently in school, then this percentage is negligible…,” he said.

The Minister added that students who have tested positive for the disease are out of school and have been taken to isolation centres.

“According to our information, these people are not in school and have been moved to isolation centres at Pentecost Convention Centre and are being taken care…,” he added.

Reports of increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country have led to incessant calls for the closure of the various SHSs.

The argument has been that the cases would increase and possibly lead to death if the government fails to heed to the incessant calls.

But the Minister disagrees as according to him, the whole world would be brought to a halt if each confirmed case of the disease would lead to a closure of an institution.

“If we make a mistake and decide to close down any institution where there is a confirmed case, then the whole world would be closed down because there are confirmed positive cases everywhere…,” he argued.

He further hinted that all schools which have recorded positive cases have been fumigated.

“The environment at Accra Girls is very safe because the place has been fumigated…the same thing applies to other schools…,” he said.

As part of efforts to ensure that the students who have tested positive for the disease continue to prepare for their examination, the students were allowed to go to the isolation centres with their reading materials.

“These are students that the government have invested heavily in, so they are being monitored from a distance…they have not been abandoned, the only that they lack is the physical appearance of a teacher…,” he said.

He was however hopeful that all the students who have tested positive for the disease will be back to the classroom to adequately prepare for their exams.




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