To check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Schools in the Central Region, the Regional Health Directorate on Monday, constituted a Seven-Member Schools COVID-19 Taskforce to supervise and monitor the pandemic situation.

The Regional 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 (MMD) levels.

The 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.

The President also directed all schools to be disinfected while COVID-19 logistics were to be provided as part of measures to prevent 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, 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 have stopped to adhere to the health and safety protocols of hand washing with soap, wearing of face masks, using hand sanitizers and social distancing.

She said the upsurge of 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 MMD Chief Executives to support the Taskforce in their Areas to help keep the schools safe from the pandemic.

Dr Kwabena Sarpong, Deputy Regional Director, in a brief remark, 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 reported 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 ”, he indicated, stating that it was going to be a challenging task as school reopens and KG pupils will be wearing nose masks and prevented from holding hands and playing together but urged all to ensure their safety.

For his part, Mr Ahwireng pledged the Committee’s readiness to work assiduously to achieve its mandate.

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