The ministry of health has released statistics indicating that 120 students from four schools have tested positive for COVID-19 since re-opening of schools last month.
President Yoweri Museveni authorized re-opening of schools for candidates on October 15th 2020, allowing only students in candidate classes to return for studies.
Now, the state minister for health in charge of Primary healthcare Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu (PhD) says the ministry has unmasked a transmission cluster in 4 different learning institutions.
These are; Bishop Cipriano SSS Kihangire, Luzira with 32 cases, Masaka School of Health Sciences with 28 cases, Vine Paramedical School, Masaka with 30 cases and Kabale School of Nursing & Midwifery which has 30 confirmed cases.
According to Kaducu, the health Ministry and their sisters from Ministry of Education have recommended that; schools should not close despite confirmation of positive cases unless it is in consultation with the Director General Ministry of Health.
Also, schools should enforce “stay home” police for learners and teachers that feel unwell with quick linkage to health authorities, strengthen surveillance in schools with improved recording of attendance for both learners and teachers and instituting symptom monitors to identify cases early.
They have also recommended engagement with schools on health education risk perception and behavior change to promote a preventive atmosphere in schools and engagement with private schools to improve surveillance and reporting on COVID-19 in these communities.
“Therefore, the ministry of health does not recommend closure of schools as this will only heightened further community transmission and further create a disruption in the learners’ academic progression. However, it is only under special circumstances i.e. capacity of the school or district to respond to COVID-19 and increasing number of cases in school, will the Ministry of Health recommend closure” Kaducu said.