Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Agyapa Mercer has expressed dissenting views regarding suggestions to close schools as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, during his regular update address on COVID-19, allowed schools to reopen for only final year students and further directed the students, teachers and all the school authorities to abide by the health protocols to prevent the spread of the disease on the various campuses.
However, about thirteen (13) final year students in Senior High Schools (SHS) in the country have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 a few days after returning to school.
The cases were recorded in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and the Central Regions.
The Odorgonor, Konongo Wesley, Mfantsipim and Accra Girls Senior High Schools have all recorded cases of COVID-19.
A student at the KNUST SHS was left by the school authorities to die amidst speculations he had the disease.
Some parents of the school children as well as members of opposition parties, particularly the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have raised serious concerns and called on the President to close the schools to safeguard the students against the disease but their calls haven’t yielded any fruitful results yet.
Addressing the issue on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Hon. Agyapa Mercer disagreed with those calling on the President to direct for the schools to close as a result of the disease outbreak on the campuses.
”The schools ought to run. Of course, it’s unfortunate that a person has lost his life but if we enforce the protocols, are we not more likely to succeed than to make blanket call that close down the schools?” he questioned.
According to him, ”markets are still open. Shops are open. Offices, by and large, are open and rightfully so…If we don’t continue to urge people or compel them if need be to wear it (nose mask), then we should close shops. Closing shops too won’t be possible”.
To him, the emphasis should be on enforcing the safety protocols in the schools.
“Ultimately, you can give all the laws, directives and guidelines, if individually we’re not prepared to abide it; we expose our own selves and our families to potential contracting COVID. But in a situation where you take appropriate steps, your chances of contraction reducing significantly.”
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