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As Coronavirus cases in schools rise, a virologist has called on the government to firmly close down pre-schools, kindergartens, and lower primary schools as a measure to control the spread.
Dr. Michael Owusu of the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research said this move will be one in the right direction, helping substantially to slow down the rate of spread in the country.
“If we have to tackle schools, I don’t think that closure of all schools is necessary but we may begin by looking at the kindergarten and lower primary as it is extremely difficult to fully implement the protocol,” he said.
Dr. Owusu was speaking on JoyNews Prime, reports myjoyonline.com.
However, a lecturer at the Global Health Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. John Amuasi, disagrees.
In his assertion, available data in Ghana and elsewhere suggests that the virus’ spread in schools is relatively low in the scheme of things except for the known threats associated with social gathering.
“For me, rather than focusing the efforts on random sampling within the schools, I will continue to trumpet the need for random sampling at the community level because this is what will allow us to measure the real rate of spread at the national level,” he said on February 1.
He further explained that “If you measure the rate of spread at the school level, it does not provide significant information for decision making because these are the same people that move back home and then infect their parent, grandparents and who they meet.”
Several calls have been made since schools resumed in January, for the closure of especially all classes in the lower primary level of schools, with fears that the protocols will not be properly adhered to by the children.
Only yesterday, reports from the Akosombo International School showed that some 79 people (74 students and 5 staff) had contracted the virus.
Currently, Ghana has a total of 72,328 confirmed cases after conducting 805,652 tests since the virus first entered the country in mid-March 2020.
A total of 65,149 have recovered while the death stats are at 472.