Increase sensitization on enforcement of protocols to stop spread in schools - Health Economist urges govt

Students COVID Ghana has reopened schools amidst Coronavirus

Tue, 9 Feb 2021 Source: universnewsroom.com

Health Economist, Nana Kofi Quakye has urged the government to increase sensitization on the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols if the country will want to limit the spread of the disease in schools.

Speaking to UniversNews, Mr. Quakye attributed the rise in COVID-19 cases in schools to low sensitization and stated that most of these people have little or no education on contact tracing and the other protocols.

He stressed that the sensitization on advanced COVID-19 protocols is very necessary in order to help institutions navigate severe outbreaks.

“Most people are not pandemic experts, most people don’t know how to do contact tracing, most people don’t have in-depth knowledge beyond what they are told to do regarding wearing masks and physical distancing; so it is important that people receive specific guidelines that allow them to navigate different kinds of situations, navigate situations like outbreaks at their institutions, navigate what to do if students don’t come with masks and it is important that those things are uniform and consistent across the board."

"Obviously, we want to make sure that all students are coming in wearing face masks. Children may not have severe illness from COVD-19 infections but they still can get infected and they still can pass it on. It makes sense to try and backstop that with all the possible measures that we can,” he said.

Speaking in relation to students in boarding facilities, Mr. Nana Kofi Quakye pointed out that the screening of boarding students before the start of academic activities should be the standard.

“If we were able to do pre-arrival screening for the boarding students around the country, then we have a very big incentive to keep apart the screened students from the unscreened students who come in everyday and in truth, that should be the standard.

We should be trying to make sure that people who are going through the community everyday to get to school are separate from those who are in the community and especially if you know there is some screening or pre-arrival testing to confirm who was positive and who was not.” He added.

Mr. Quakye then urged the Food and Drugs Authority to bring on board low cost antigen tests in order to increase its affordability.

“Routine screening is something that we really have to be open to in Ghana right now. With this new UK variant spreading, we have every incentive and every need to make sure that we can control all possible avenues to spreading events and schools are obviously going to be a big challenge there."

"If we were able to bring on board low cost antigen tests that could be used with that much screening, it will be really helpful and that’s something I hope the FDA can fast track its approval because the reality is that antigen tests do not need to cost $150 like they do."

"It’s possible to find really effective comparably sensitive antigen tests that go for under $10 on the open market and I hope that the Food and Drugs Authority will be open to fast-tracking the approvals of those ones,” he said.

Ghana Covid-19 situation

Over the past few days, the country has been recording an average of 700 new cases daily.

The country currently has over 6,000 active cases per the last update by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Thursday, February 8, 2021, with statistics as of 4th February 2021.

464 Covid-19 related deaths have also been recorded.

Source: universnewsroom.com
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