The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Oko-Boye has stated clearly that, he sees no need to test Senior High School (SHS) students who are currently in school for Covid-19 before they go home after their examinations.
Following the President’s address, Final years students who were due to write their final exams as well as ‘form 2’ gold track students were made to return to school amidst the pandemic. The reason for the reopening was to make room for final year students to prepare and write their exit exam, thus, the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), and the gold-track students focus on completing their academic year.
After this announcement, there were lots of concerned groups who called for testing of all students before allowing them go back to school, the government said it was not possible, but rather put in place some safety protocols to be followed.
Schools near completion, with final years writing exams, there are fears that the students may return home with Covid-19 if a test is not conducted to know their status, especially when some schools have recorded some positive cases.
“We should not see them as people with elevated risk, when I say elevated risk… like anybody who flies into the country, because the virus rate is high over there, that people coming from an elevated risk area should rather be given such attention, but for these kids their schools are within our jurisdiction, they came from us to school,” he said.
The Deputy Minister added that “if students do not show any symptoms of the virus, it’s needless to test them before they go home”.
According to him, the rate of infection has so far shown to be “almost negligible” amongst the students.
Recovery rate is high, a reason he believes relatives should not entertain any fears and as such should not treat the students as if they went to school to assembly the deadly virus home.