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Test all students, teaching and non-teaching staff before reopening schools

The Covid-19 Technical Team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on the government to ensure that all students, teaching and non-teaching staff are tested for the novel coronavirus ahead of the reopening.

This comes on the back of the rising cases of Covid-19 despite the reversal of some restrictions on public gatherings for final years in educational institutions to complete their exit examinations.

Ghana’s Covid-19 cases currently stand at 10, 358 with 48 deaths and 3,824 recoveries as of June 12, 2020 according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

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In a statement signed by Chairman of the team, Prosper Bani, the NDC noted that “Our current trajectory – with cases rising at an increasing rate – demands of Government a comprehensive, dispassionate reassessment of key aspects of its strategy for managing the epidemic.”

According to the June 11 statement, the facts presented by the GHS “do not suggest that students, teaching and non- teaching staff can avoid a significant risk of exposure to the virus as the epidemic is not under control.”

In that regard, they have recommended a number of measures to ensure that the President’s directive does not give more rise in new infections.

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These include testing of all students, teachers and non-teaching staff “to preempt any potential spread on secondary schools and university campuses.”

The NDC also called for the “adequacy of medicines, PPEs, Covid-19 specific equipment and other relevant health infrastructure for infirmaries, sick bays and university hospitals across all academic institutions must also be holistically addressed.”

The statement did not also rule out the provision of Isolation centers around campuses and the strict adherence to social distancing protocols in boarding houses and classrooms.

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While emphasising the need for mass testing, the NDC’s Covid-19 Technical Team impressed on the Akufo-Addo-led administration to “articulate a strategic public health crisis management plan with focus on shortfalls in public education around Covid-19.”

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