President Nana Akufo-Addo’s address on measures his government is taking to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Ghana on Sunday, June 21, 2020, comes a day to re-opening of schools for final year SHS students and SHS 2 students on the gold track.
The 12th address focused on the re-opening of schools for the secondary students and explained Ghana’s new guidelines on coronavirus testing and discharge of patients.
Below are the highlights of the 12th coronavirus address.
1. WASSCE fees for 313, 837 will be absorbed by the government
The President announced an arrangement to absorb the examination fees for all 313,837 students sitting for the West African Senior Secondary Certification Examination this year.
The President said GHS75.4 million will be spent on the initiative.
2. All SHS across the country have been fumigated
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, all 1,167 Senior High Schools in the country have been fumigated and disinfected.
“Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some 800,000 will be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks, i.e. two being provided tomorrow [June 22], and the third within a fortnight,” he said.
He also urged parents to provide their wards and children with at least one face covering on their way to school.
3. Maximum class size is 25
He announced that a maximum of 25 students will be permitted in each class.
“All day students in schools with boarding houses will be resident in these boarding houses, whilst day students, in schools without boarding facilities, will commute from home, and will be required to adhere to enhanced hygiene protocols; eating in dining halls will be in appropriate numbers; and no visitors to the schools will be allowed,” he reiterated.
There will also be no mass gatherings and no sporting activities, but religious activities, under the new protocols, will be permitted.
4.Dedicated dormitory to serve as an isolation centre in a school
One dormitory block in each senior high school will be used as an isolation centre in the event of a student falling sick, he said.
“Each SHS has been mapped to a health facility, and care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools,” the President revealed.
5.Ghana’s approach to fighting the virus still informed by science and data
Ghana’s approach to dealing with the virus is informed by evolving science and data, he said.
“Initially, the scientific thinking was that, as long as you continue to test positive, you are capable of infecting others. Hence, the requirement for the two consecutive negative tests before you are declared as having recovered.
“This was the science that informed the guidelines that Ghana has, so far, followed. However, there is now new evidence which states that, after 10 to 14 days, a person with no symptoms is unlikely to transmit the virus to others even if the person continues to test positive,” he said.
According to him, it is on this basis that WHO has updated its guidelines. This Ghana is adhering strictly to these guidelines, he reiterated.
6. 147 new coronavirus cases push case count to 14,154
Ghana’s COVID-19 cases have risen to 14,154. The 147 new cases were announced by the President on Sunday, June 21, 2020.
The total number of recoveries and deaths, however, remain at 10,473 and 85 respectively.
“As at Saturday, 20th June, the total number of positives, cumulatively, stands at 14,154, out of the 270,300 tests conducted. Under the revised policy, 5,925 persons have recovered and discharged.
“This brings the total number of recoveries to 10,473. The number of active cases is thus 3,596,” Akufo-Addo said.