TOO EARLY TO CLOSE SCHOOLS – CRI
Executive Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah, has stated that Ghana’s Covid-19 infection cases have not reached the level where authorities should be considering a shutdown of schools.
He explained that although there had been a rise in infection cases among children, available data was not strong enough for the country to call for a shutdown of schools.
Mr. Appiah said this at a press conference yesterday in Accra.
Mr. Appiah said within the last four months (November 9, 2020 to February 4, 2021) a total of 1,737 children within the age cohort of 0-17 years have tested positive for Covid-19 in Ghana.
He said the number represented a 1.04 per cent increase from the previous cases recorded within March to November 9, last year, where 2,180 children contracted the virus.
“Cumulatively, a total of 3,917 children have contracted the virus since March 2020, representing 5.47 per cent of the total contraction rate in Ghana,” he emphasised.
According to him, CRI has over the years worked to ensure the best interest of the child.
The Executive Director, presenting the state of the Ghanaian child under Covid-19, said from March 11 to November 9, 2020 out of 49,202 people who contracted the virus, 2,180 were children below 18 years, representing 4.43 % of the total contraction rate in Ghana.
“From November 10, 2020 to February 4, 2021, a total of 1,737 children within the age cohort of 0-17 years have tested positive to Covid-19 representing 1.04 per cent increase,” he noted.
Mr. Appiah, however, observed that the relative months showed an exponential increase of Covid-19 in children looking at the related periods of months.
He, however, added that although the infections among children were high, the cases of admission were below a per cent.
“Only a child was admitted and had since been discharged. The available data indicates that hospitalization in children is virtually absent as compared to adults with Covid-19, suggesting that children may have less severe illness from Covid-19,” he added.
He indicated that with no death recorded from November 10 to February 4, 2021, the country had not reached the risk level to determine whether schools should be closed own or not.
“However, as a country, we have met the first indicator, which in our opinion is a worrying situation. Even though we have not gotten to the level of the second and third indicators, it is still necessary for the country to strictly adhere to the Covid-19 protocols,” he said.
Appeal to Government
He therefore urged the government to make it a policy to engage pediatricians in providing care and treatment for children who may suffer severe conditions as well as organize random testing in schools to ascertain the level of infection.
“Ghana Education Service must intensify its educational programmes in schools to reduce infection of Covid-19 among children,” he added.