Editorial :Infections in SHSs causing anguish and fear

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Although measures were put in place to check the spread of the coronavirus with the announcement of the reopening of schools, news filtering in that some students have tested positive for the virus is causing anguish among some parents, and rightly so.

Health officials of Accra Girls senior high school (SHS) tested some students and some of them tested positive. Barely a week after the school reopened for final year students, parents yesterday trooped to the school following the news with some successfully withdrawing their wards.

There was heavy security presence at the Accra Girls Senior High School after parents began trooping there to withdraw their wards. Some students began picketing as the anxious and fear-gripped students massed up at the schools’ premises.

Reports also indicate that one student has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Wesley Senior High School at Konongo in the Ashanti Region. This will send worrying signals to parents who would be having sleepless nights as the country’s case count spikes.

In the last few days, the country recorded over 750 and over 690 cases per day and the anguish of parents is rightly-placed, particularly as they learn the virus is also permeating educational establishments.

The fears of Ghanaians and parents in particular have heightened after the Minister for Health,  Kweku Agyemang Manu, the Minister for Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Minister for Regional Reorganization, Dan Botwe tested positive for the virus, which led to the directives of the President, Akufo-Addo, suspending Cabinet meetings indefinitely, ostensibly to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Some schools have called for mass testing of their students before admitting them to mingle with others and we believe that might be necessary to protect the health of the students. Final year Junior and Senior High School students were directed to return to school on Monday, 22 June 2020 to prepare for their final examinations.

The Paper is in full agreement that the outbreak of COVID-19 should not disrupt normal life, and the progression of our students is equally important to us all. However, we may need to review or modify some directives so that we do not unduly put the lives of final year students in harm’s way.

Mass testing the final year students may be an option to contain and limit the spread of the deadly virus.

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