Despite the surge in the cases of COVID-19 in the country, and government’s subsequent reintroduction of restrictions on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances and parties until further notice, schools remain open, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
According to him, the situation in the various schools is being monitored for an appropriate response to be taken, despite a few cases being recorded since reopening schools on 15 January.
President Akufo-Addo speaking to the nation for the 23rd time in the special televised COVID-19 address Sunday, January 31, explained that the decision to keep the schools open was due to the few COVID-19 cases recorded so far.
He, however, urged school authorities to enforce strictly the COVID-19 safety protocols provided by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
He assured that the Ghana Health Service will continue its surveillance in schools to help contain the spread of the disease.
“We should all understand that our current situation could get very dire if efforts are not made, both on the part of the government and by you, the citizenry, to help contain the virus,” he said in his broadcast.
President Akufo-Addo also announced restrictions on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances and parties until further notice.
Private burials, Akufo-Addo said, with not more than twenty-five people can take place, with the enforcement of social distancing, hygiene and mask-wearing protocols.
“Beaches, night clubs, cinemas and pubs continue to be shut. Our borders by land and sea remain closed,” he stressed.
Akufo-Addo explained that, even though these measures were unpleasant, it over a period, resulted in a favourable situation for the country’s fight against the novel Coronavirus and “we have to return to them”.
“All workplaces, public and private, must employ a shift-system for workers, in addition to the use of virtual platforms for business or work. Conferences and workshops can take place with all the appropriate protocols. However, I encourage the use of virtual platforms for such engagements,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
“Restaurants should provide take-away services, and should, as much as possible, avoid seated services. The National Sports Authority and the Ghana Football Association should ensure compliance with the twenty-five per cent capacity rule in our stadia, with spectators respecting the social distancing rule and wearing of masks.”
Schools were shut in March last year but final year exam candidates were allowed to return for the purpose of writing exams, and then to go on Christmas holidays.
During that time, some students contracted the virus while in boarding houses, but their relatives were prevented from visiting them.
This brought about a lot of confusion.
This time around, school children from creche to secondary as well as university students are back in school.