Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu said that it is not in government’s plans to close the schools as a response to the increasing COVID-19 cases.
Despite the rising cases of COVID-19 in schools, the government has made it clear that they will not close any schools and institutions of learning.
While addressing a press conference on Tuesday at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu the Minister for Primary Health Care in the Ministry of Health said that it is not in government’s plans to close the schools as a response to the increasing COVID-19 infections among the students.
Dr Moriku explained that closure of schools at this time will create a disruption in the learners’ academic progression yet they are already working behind schedule to try and complete their syllabus.
Also, she said that the closure will also culminate into the further community transmission of the virus because children will be allowed the freedom to loiter around.
“The Ministry of Health does not recommend closure of schools as this will only heighten further community transmission and further create a disruption in the learners’ academic progression,” she said.
Dr Moriku however, advised schools to enforce the stay at the home policy for learners and teachers who feel sick. She said that they should as well strengthen their surveillance teams to be in a position to identify cases early.
Appropriately, she urged the general public to continue adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“Schools should not close despite confirmation of positive cases unless it is in consultation with the Director General of Ministry of Health. Schools should enforce a “stay home” policy for learners and teachers that feel unwell, with quick linkage to health authorities.”
On issues of continuing students, Dr Moriku said that learners in non-candidates classes will continue adhering to government’s directive of studying from home until they announce a new plan for them.
Meanwhile, this comes at a time when coronavirus cases continue to surge countrywide. The health ministry Tuesday announced 241 new cases from COVID-19 tests done on 23 November 2020. The Ministry also announced new five deaths from the virus.
As of today, the total number of cases in Uganda have hit 18,406. Out of these, 8547 individuals have since been discharged after they recovered from the virus while 168 people have so far succumbed to it.