Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, has explained why mass COVID-19 testing was not carried out for all children returning to school.
The GHS boss explained that doing so would have meant deploying roughly 9.2 million tests across the country. He was speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo program.
“So even if we conduct 9.2 million tests today and they are all negative, it doesn’t mean that they’d remain negative, we have an arrangement in place.
“If you look at persons that are positive in Ghana, it is not worth it. So far, 0 – 18 years positive patients are under 5% so it is not necessary to run such tests,” he stressed.
He, however, disclosed that anyone who shows signs of infection, will quickly be isolated and tested as was done when selective reopening was done for some category of students last year. “In case of a suspected outbreak, rapid tests will be carried out.”
Schools were closed in March last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Government repeatedly postponed reopening – especially of primary classes and below – till the president’s last address when he announced a full reopening effective January 15.
What the president said on January 3 about schools reopening:
“So, from 15th January, our children in kindergarten, primary, and Junior High, in both private and public schools, will be back in school. All SHS 1 students will start classes from 10th March, with all students embarking on a single-track academic calendar.
“Their seniors in SHS 2 and SHS 3 will, however, return to school from 18th January. I must stress that SHS 3 students in all schools, like SHS 1 students, will no longer run the double-track system.
“The expansion of infrastructure at the various senior high schools, over the last three (3) years, has brought us to this favourable situation.”