Director of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Professor Gordon Awandare is entreating the government to carry out random PCR COVID-19 testing across all basic schools in the country.
According to the immunologist, children are mostly asymptomatic carriers of the virus, thus could infect people outside their age group in the community on a large scale.
“Children will mostly be asymptomatic so you need PCR to be able to detect who are carriers of the virus. Normally, when asymptomatic people get the disease they either show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.”
He stressed that active cases of the coronavirus are likely to shoot up unless random testing is carried out to contain an outbreak.
“Once you have opened schools and children are in schools some of them can get exposed either at home or from their communities and then they bring it back to the school exposing their colleagues to it, but if you carry out random testing, you can pick up a surge in an outbreak before it gets out of hand”.
In the intervening time, the director of the research centre has said his outfit is monitoring and studying the prevalence of the virus in students across all educational institutions.
Schools reopen amid surge in active coronavirus cases
Temperature checks and mandatory wearing of masks have been enforced in schools after ten months of closure. The shutdown of the academic calendar was in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in March last year.
The country’s education ministry and other stakeholders are ensuring adherence to health protocols.
There have been mixed reactions as the government announced the reopening of schools. It comes as covid-19 cases have reportedly surged in the country.
The tally of infected people has tripled in a month, to 3,286 according to Ghana’s Health Service. The overall figure of infections since the start of the pandemic is 60,794.