Ghanaian Prelate Urges Caution as COVID-19 is Confirmed at an Accra Girls’ School

The Catholic Archbishop of Ghana’s Accra Archdiocese has urged caution after cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among students and a staff at a non-denominational day and boarding secondary school for girls in the country’s capital, Accra.

On Monday, July 6, the Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service confirmed the reported that six students of Accra Girls Senior High School, a teacher at the same institution and her spouse had tested positive for COVID-19.

The confirmation that triggered agitation among parents who thronged to the school demanding the release of their children.

In a video message posted on Facebook Wednesday, July 8, Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie of Accra encourages caution saying, “My dear students, my dear teaching and non-teaching staff accompanying our students in schools, I come to you asking you to be extra careful, to be more diligent in observing the protocols that have been put in place to help all of us stay safe.”

“We have also heard that in some of our schools, students have been found to be infected by this COVID-19. This is frightening, indeed alarming,” Archbishop Kwofie says.

He expresses his awareness of the worries on the part of parents and underscores the need to adhere to the safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“I share the concern of parents for you. I share the concern of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for you and we ask you to do your best to stay safe on campus. We do not want you to be infected by this COVID-19,” the Ghanaian Prelate who is a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) says.  

Schools in the West African nation were closed down in March as part of the measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

In his 10th address to the nation on measures on COVID-19, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo directed that final year students in Senior High Schools and Form two Gold Track students go back to school to complete their course work.

The country has recorded at least 21,968 cases of the novel coronavirus including 129 deaths and 17,156 recoveries. 

Referencing the reopening of schools at a time when cases in the country are escalating, Archbishop Kwofie says, “Many are worried that you have gone back to school; at the same time, the concern has been raised that your future is important and you have to go back to school and prepare for your examinations. Do your preparation in safety by observing the protocols that have been put in place.” 

“When you are in school, be careful to put on your nose mask every time when needed. In your interaction with your friends, social distancing is important. Make sure you adhere to the protocol of social distancing in your relationship with your brothers and sisters, friends in schools, even your best friend,” the Prelate advises in the July 8 video message.

He adds in reference to the preventive measures, “Be careful how you relate with people coming from outside and of course you are also asked to wash our hands under running water and soap. It doesn’t cost you anything to wash your hands with water and soap. It doesn’t cost you anything to observe social distancing whilst in school.” 

These health protocols that we have been speaking about all the time must accompany you in school. Whilst you are in school, please make sure you adhere to these protocols,” he reiterated.

Addressing the teaching and non-teaching staff, Archbishop Kwofie asked them to “accompany the younger ones” in school by giving them “signs of wisdom.”

“Let them (students) realize when they are doing something wrong so that all of you on campus will remain safe,” he said.

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