COVID-19: Schools with 15% infection will be closed down- Okoe Boye

As agitations over the spread of covid-19 increase in senior high schools grows, the government has given indications that it will only close down a school when more than 15% of a school population contract the virus.

The threshold, the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, says will inform whether a particular school should be kept open as intense pressure pile on the government to close down schools.

With the at least nine senior high schools recording covid-19 in three regions, some parents are demanding that their wards be sent home to insulate them against the fatal covid-19.

The Accra Girls Senior High School and Nsein Senior High School alone have reported at least 63 cases, sparking fears that the students may not be safe.

“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,” he said on Asempa FM.

The government insists that the students [boarding] are safer in school where they have little interaction with others than home where their vulnerability to the disease is high.

But some people are not at ease, as reported cases in schools continue to go up. The Ghana Health Service warns of an explosion of cases in senior high schools if congestion in the schools are not checked.

While the senior high schools report cases, the only confirmed case at the junior high school level was reported in the Oti Region. But the school has not been named.

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