Education

3 students infected with Covid-19 since school re-opening

Three students in senior high schools in Upper West and Western regions respectively have contracted Covid-19 since schools re-opened a week ago.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye announced this in Accra on Monday, during Covid-19 media briefing.

He said the affected students were being managed in their respective schools.

He said before schools were opened on January 15, the GHS made arrangements for schools to be mapped to health facilities near them.

That, he said, was intended to ensure quick response to Covid-19 infections or outbreaks in any school.

Meanwhile, more than 32 persons have died from Covid-19 related diseases between January 1 and 24, this year.

The GHS boss said this phase of the Covid-19 surge in the country is more severe and deadly than the surges in July and September last year.

Currently, he said, 372 persons have succumbed to the infectious disease since the nation recorded its first case in March 2020.

He said the active cases had increased from 800 to 3,613 as of January 22, 2021, with 62,135 cumulative cases, noting that the middle and upper classes of the population were most affected.

Dr Kumah-Aboagye said due to the severity of the new wave of infections, the GHS will soon begin Antigen testing in suspected outbreaks in schools and workplaces.

Additionally, the Antigen test would be used in hospitals when health workers there had been exposed to the virus, and also use it in selected health facilities.

At the moment, Antigen Test is used at the country’s airport and produce Covid-19 test results within 30 minutes.

Dr Kumah-Aboagye said public health facilities would now offer 24-hour service and intensify Contact Tracing using several means including ride-hailing apps for transportation.

He advised the management of companies and organizations in the country to decongest staff at their workplaces and use virtual services instead.

Dr Kumah-Aboagye urged the public to comply with the preventive and safety protocols as well as the wearing of nose masks.

He said the entire West African Subregion was experiencing an upsurge in Covid-19 infections, noting that the new Covid-19 variants detected in Ghana were similar to those found in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

However, he said, the nation is yet to confirm a community spread of the new Covid-19 variants as genome sequencing is still ongoing.

He entreated the GHS and the media to continue collaborating in educating the public on the threat posed by the virus to improve compliance with the safety protocols.

Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah noted that if the trend of infections continued, there was a high possibility of experiencing another partial lockdown in the country.