I submit that the government did students and parents palpable wrong by recalling the children from home to school in these COVID times. And many such avoidable wrongs in our fragile national response to COVID-19 have come at great cost. Yet they keep repeating the wrongs in different forms.
Who is advising Mr. President?
When you ask if they are willing to let the children go home because of the incidence of COVID-19 infections in some Senior High Schools (SHS), their response is, ‘allowing the kids to travel back home will cause more infections BECAUSE WHEN YOU MOVE THE VIRUS MOVES…’
Why, then, did they allow the kids to move in droves to school?
Did they not know the students will move with the virus to school?
Or for that moment Government had magically arrested the virus and stopped it from moving?
I have further questions:
- When the students are done with their examinations, certainly before December this year, will Government allow them to move home to reunite with their families?
- Or they will keep them in school and feed them for their own ‘safety’ because when they move the virus will move? And
- How come critical national institutions find the need to close shop to prevent further spread of COVID infections; yet same treatment is deemed unsuitable for students and teachers in schools?
How should the children go home if Government decides and is willing?
It is possible to test the students in school and allow those who test negative to go home and still be observed for 14 days.
The few who may test positive should be managed according to the existing protocols. And allowed to reunite with their families only when they recover.
Fellow Ghanaians, stay alive!
I urge you to stay safe. Wash your hands with soap under running water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wear your protective mask and if possible add a face shield.
Remember the face shield is not a substitute for a face mask. Last but not least ensure social distancing.
The author, Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah is a Health Policy, Planning and Financing Analyst, Medical Doctor & Former Minister for Communications