By Alice Tettey, GNA
Cape Coast, Jan. 11, GNA – To check the spread of the COVID-19 in Schools in the Central Region, the Regional Health Directorate on Monday constituted a Seven-Member Schools COVID-19 Taskforce to supervise adherence to the protocols and monitor the pandemic situation.
The Taskforce, chaired by Mr Matthew Ahwireng, Regional Health Promotion Officer, is also mandated to educate students and stakeholders on the need to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students.
It will be replicated at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District levels.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the re-opening of schools at all levels of the education ladder in his address to the nation on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
He also directed all schools to be disinfected while COVID-19 logistics were to be provided as part of measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
The universities opened on Saturday, January 9 while Basic and Senior High Schools will reopen from Friday, January 15 to Monday, January 18.
Dr Mrs Akosua Owusu Sarpong, the Central Regional Director of Health Services, who inaugurated the Taskforce, said: “We need to ensure that we collectively keep the school environment safe for our children.”
She cautioned the public against disregarding the COVID-19 protocols since it could have dire consequences.
Dr Owusu Sarpong expressed worry that many people were not adhering to the safety protocols of hand washing with soap, wearing of face masks, using hand sanitizers and social distancing.
She said the upsurge in cases was a wake-up call for Ghanaians to religiously follow the safety protocols.
Dr Owusu Sarpong debunked the wrong perception that the virus was no longer in the system, saying “COVID-19 has not gone anywhere” and warned that the current rising numbers of critical cases of the new variant were ‘alarming’ and ‘‘worrying’ and called for concerted efforts to stop the spread of the disease.
She appealed to metropolitan, municipal, and district chief executives to support the Taskforce to help keep the schools safe from the pandemic.
Dr Kwabena Sarpong, the Deputy Regional Director, urged the media to step up education to caution the public about the wrong notion that the disease was no longer deadly.
He said more COVID-19 deaths were being recorded and all must keep safe by adhering to the protocols.
“There should be surveillance and vigilance in all schools and communities as community members, teachers, parents and the public report any sick member promptly for treatment,” Dr Sarpong advised.
“We don’t want to hear any bad story about any of our children in school.”
Dr Sarpong said it would be a challenging task as school reopened and Kindergarten pupils would be wearing nose masks and prevented from holding hands and playing with friends but urged all to contribute to ensure their safety.
Mr Ahwireng, on his part, pledged the Committee’s readiness to work assiduously to achieve its mandate.
The members are Dr Akosua Owusu Sarpong, The Central Regional Director of Health Services, Mrs Alice Tettey, Representative of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr Nicholas Ofori Boateng, Regional NCCE Director, and Dr Kwabena Sarpong, Deputy Director of Health Services.
The rest are Linda Yaa Kwabia, the RCC Rep on Health, Amparbeng Jonathan, Regional SHEP Coordinator, Mr Luthrodths- ISD Rep, and Mr William Goku, Regional Environmental Health Officer.