Ministry of Health starts investigations into COVID-19 cases in schools

The Ministry of Health has started investigations of the source of COVID-19 infections in schools following a number of cases reported in Masaka and Gulu districts.

The development comes after 45 students from several educational institutions reportedly tested positive for the virus in Masaka district, sending fear among parents and the general public.

Dr. Charles Olaro, the director of curative services at the health ministry says the occurrence of the cases is something that needs to be investigated because it shows something is not right. He says they have dispatched district surveillance teams to carry out investigations aimed at discovering the sources of infection of the disease

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“If schools are following the SOPs as we issued them, we do not expect cases of COVID-19 to be reported. The occurrence of the cases shows that something is not right. Either the schools are not following SOPs or they are allowing visitors to enter the school which endangers the students,” says Dr. Olaro.

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According to the Standard Operating Procedures that all schools are expected to follow to stop the spread of the disease during the resumption of learning in October, schools are supposed to provide handwashing facilities, learners are also expected to keep their masks on and maintain a physical distance of at least two meters at all times (be it in classes or even in their dormitories).

In addition to this, visitors are not supposed to be allowed into schools. All schools are supposed to either operate as a day school or a boarding school. In the case of boarding schools, the schools are supposed to be fenced well and both teachers and learners are not supposed to leave the school premises to interact with community members that might be infected.

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However, it should be noted that although access to the schools was limited by SOPs this is difficult to enforce because different people including parents, inspectors and service providers are constantly visiting schools.

Source: URN