Thirteen final year students in senior high schools in the country have tested positive for the global pandemic, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) few days after returning to school, the Ministry of Education has confirmed.
The cases were recorded in the Greater Accra and the Central Regions.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Education, in charge of Basic and Secondary Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, confirmed that six students at the Accra Girls Senior High School tested positive. In addition, a teacher at the school together with his wife had also tested positive for the COVID-19.
Two other students from Odorgonor SHS equally tested positive for the disease in Accra.
In the Ashanti Region, three students at the Konongo Wesley SHS had tested positive for the COVID-19.
Meanwhile in the Central Region, the Mfantsipim School recorded two confirmed cases of the COVID-19, the Deputy Minister said, bringing the total number of students who have tested positive for the COVID-19 to 13.
According to the Deputy Minister, the students had been isolated and their parents had been informed to ensure it brings down the anxiety.
According to Dr Adutwum, 648 contacts tracing had been done and the people had been isolated, with a number of them tested by the Ghana Health Service.
He said counsellors had been provided at the Accra Girls Senior High School to support them psychologically.
"In the midst of all the anxiety, it is difficult for students to even learn, but counsellors are on sight now, looking at ways that they can help the students to recompose themselves and begin to take a look at the preparation that is ahead of them," Dr Adutwum said.
"Everything possible is being done to make sure the safety of the children are protected," he stated.
Meanwhile, a joint statement issued by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said a team of 200 personnel, drawn from the two institutions, regional and district directorates of education had been spread all over the country and were closely monitoring the situation.
The statement signed by Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, Director General of the GES and Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director-General, GHS, assured all health institutions to which senior high schools had been mapped with health facilities to ensure that any suspected cases were promptly dealt with in accordance with the laid-down protocols.
It noted that school heads and selected school staff had been trained, and would continue to receive further training and support on Covid-19 issues and management, adding that all schools had been provided with the necessary logistics needed to fight this pandemic, including Veronica buckets, sanitisers, face masks, tissue paper and the schools have been disinfected as well.
"If any student is affected, the parent will be notified and given the opportunity to visit," it stated.