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President to confirm schools reopening after Dec 30 Cabinet meeting

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is receiving briefings from COVID-19 Technical Taskforce on limited school re-openings and would make a firm decision on school reopening in January 2021 after a Cabinet meeting on December 30, 2020.

Addressing a news conference in Accra on COVID-19 Updates on Tuesday, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the COVID-19 Taskforce would work throughout the Christmas period to brief the President and analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, during the limited school re-openings in July, August, September, and October, this year.

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Government in July allowed final year students in the tertiary education institutions to complete their semester courses and wrote their exit examinations.

The final year senior high school students also returned to complete their term courses and wrote the West African Examination Certificate (WAEC), while the final year Junior High School students undertook the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in September and in October, second-year JHS and SHS students returned to school to complete their term courses.

During the period, some students and teachers contracted the Coronavirus disease and were isolated, tested and treated.

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It is in the light of this members of the COVID-19 Taskforce were briefing the President in order to inform the Government’s decision whether basic schools should be reopened in January 2021.

The Information Minister said a sub-committee on school reopening would soon be constituted to plan and strategise the way forward.

That, he said, would ensure that the school environment would not become a haven for spreading the respiratory.

Responding to a question whether Ghana is considering stopping flights from countries witnessing the second wave of infection, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said all the options were being considered, but at the moment, the country was implementing two layers of prevention strategies.

The first layer, he said, all travellers disembarking should possess negative PCR test result from the country of origin, which was undertaken 72 hours before departure.

Additionally, all disembarking passengers were supposed to go through an Antigen test at the Kotoka International Airport and after the person tests negative, he or she would be allowed entry, while those who test positive are isolated and treated.

Currently, Ghana has recorded 54,043 positive COVID-19 cases, with 52,777 recoveries/ discharged, representing 97.7 per cent recovery rate, according to Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Service.

As at Saturday, December 19, 2020, there were 933 active cases and 333 deaths with 0.62 per cent fatality rate, which is far below the global rate of 2.25 per cent.

Ghana has so far conducted 646,697 tests, representing 20,000 per million population and 8.4 per cent positivity rate.

Dr Kumah-Aboagye said people with hypertension, diabetes and asthma were more prone to infection and at higher risk of succumbing to the disease.

Persons between 20 and 49 years were the most infected in the country.

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