The Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service Monday announced that as at July 6, six students, a teacher and spouse had tested positive for COVID-19 in Accra Girls Senior High School.
The two Services announced that the affected persons had been taken to a treatment centre for further management in accordance with the laid down protocols on the COVID-19 pandemic issued to all schools and were currently doing well.
This was in a joint statement signed by Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director General of GHS and Professor Kwasi Opoku-Agyemang, Director General of GES, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
There were reports in the morning that the students had staged a demonstration to go home following the outbreak of the virus on campus.
As a result, parents and guardians besieged the school premises demanding the release of their wards.
Responding to the agitations, the statement said a team of experts from GHS at various levels led by national officers and their colleagues from GES had been to the school to put in the necessary control measures.
According to the statement, all contacts of confirmed cases had been identified and separated from non-contacts, testing of all contacts of confirmed cases had started and the school authorities with the support of the assembly were in the process of disinfecting the affected dormitories.
"The school has put in measures to ensure strict adherence to social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures, and continuous public education sections for staff, students and parents on COVID-19 as part of steps instituted so far, " the statement added.
The management of the Services wished to state further that whilst it was understandable that parents would be anxious about their children’s welfare and may besiege the schools to remove them, it strongly advised against such move saying 'if a student is infected, there is a risk of further contagion in the community if he or she is taken out of school'.
"A team of 200 personnel, drawn from the GES, GES, the Regional and District Directorates of Education are actively spread out all over the country and are monitoring the situation closely.
Further, all health institutions to which senior high schools have been mapped with health facilities to ensure that any suspected cases are promptly dealt with in accordance with the laid down health protocols".
The statement further said school heads and selected school staff had been trained, and would continue to receive further training and support on Covid-19 issues and management.
It said, "All schools have been provided with the necessary logistics needed to fight this pandemic, including Veronica buckets, sanitisers, face masks, tissue paper and the schools have been disinfected as well".
The two bodies assured the public that If any student was affected, the parent would be notified and given the opportunity to visit, adding that in all schools where there have been incidence of suspected or positive cases, they had all been isolated or quarantined and managed appropriately.
"Management wishes to inform parents, guardians and the public to remain assured that in collaboration with the GHS, all is being done to ensure that our students remain safe and are able to prepare for their impending West African Senior School Certificate Examination in an environment devoid of anxiety, "it said.