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GES directs school heads to suspend public gatherings over coronavirus scare

BY: graphic.com.gh
Director-General of the GES, Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa
Director-General of the GES, Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has ordered all heads of schools to suspend public activities until further notice.

This the GES says it is to prevent the spread of coronavirus following the confirmation of two positive cases in the country.

In a statement issued after a meeting with the Ghana Health Service, Director-General of the GES, Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said “public activities such as Speech and Prize-Giving Days” have been suspended “until further directives are given by the Director-General.”

Meanwhile, the GES has indicated that educational materials that were prepared in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service have been available for circulation in schools to improve sensitization on the outbreak.

“Regional and District Educational Directors are to ensure that Heads of Schools make the materials readily available to staff and students. Educational Directors are also expected to liaise with their respective Regional and District Health Directors to ensure smooth education campaign in the schools.”

The Ministry of Health on Thursday announced two cases of coronavirus in Ghana.

The Ministry said the persons infected involved a Norwegian national and a Ghanaian worker in Turkey.

According to the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the two persons who tested positive for coronavirus in Ghana have been in the country for about a week.

The report has caused fear and panic among Ghanaians who are calling for stringent measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

International schools shutting down

Already, the Ghana International School has been temporarily closed down from Friday, March 13, 2020, following the outbreak.

The school explained that the move is in line with its board’s policy on emergencies.

Other international schools in Ghana including the Lincoln Community School and the Roman Ridge school had also served notice of doing same following the outbreak.

Sources at the Lincoln Community School confirmed to Citi News that fears are high as some parents with wards in the school are working for staff at the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana and have probably come into contact with a top official of the Embassy said to have tested positive to coronavirus.

Tertiary institutions announce protocols

Universities across the country have also begun taking steps to prevent members of their communities from contracting the deadly novel coronavirus.

At the University of Cape Coast (UCC), all international conferences to be hosted by the University have been suspended until further notice.

The University has also suspended all international travel by staff.

Authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Ghana (UG) and University of Education (UEW) have all announced an indefinite suspension of mass gathering activities following the confirmation of COVID-19 in Ghana.