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Minister for Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has admonished government to consider converting all public schools nationwide into mandatory quarantine centres to cater for COVID-19 patients in the country.
He said instead of lying idle, the schools will provide a great deal of support should they be turned into halfway houses as government moves to contain and control the novel coronavirus pandemic.
He added that the move has become necessary to check the community spread trend Ghana has begun recording.
According to the Manhyia South legislator, self-isolation, particularly in compound houses is dangerous and puts all tenants at risk, hence the need to have more centres.
“Some people are taking it for a joke but it’s serious than we think. My position is that government should start preparing the closed down schools as a halfway house…If we will be supportive of government’s effort, my suggestion is government’s plans should include converting the secondary schools and hostels as quarantine centres,” he said on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo show on Friday, March 27, 2020.
He also questioned why some student groups have decided to kick against such a move.
“I heard NUGS (National Union of Ghana Students) say they won’t allow government to take the hostels. I don’t get them when they take such a stance. Where is the student of Legon (University Ghana) who got infected? Whose house should she be sent to?”
“Now the students are home. Where should the infected persons be kept? If the person is not in a critical condition and does not have to be sent to the hospital, to avoid the spread of the disease, we have to send them there and provide them with certain essentials like food while we monitor them,” he intimated.
He added that “Prince Charles is under self-isolation in a whole castle alone. We don’t have a castle in Ash Town and so we need to help government in situations like this.”
Dr Opoku Prempeh further observed that doctors in the country are conspiring to leverage the COVID-19 crisis to make certain demands aimed at laying down their tools.
The minister who was obviously not enthused about the development cautioned the health professions against same.
“I learnt the Ghana Medical Association has called on doctors to go on strike… but we need to think before we take certain actions; I hope it is not true. If you are embarking on a strike action in these critical moments, who takes care of your relative who may contract the virus?”
“Emergencies are not times for theories and taking advantage of. Imagine your wife or children getting coronavirus; what will you do? That should inform their decisions,” he cautioned
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