Covid-19: Third round of nationwide disinfection begins in schools

The government in partnership with waste management giants Zoomlion Ghana Limited has commenced disinfection of thousands of basic, junior and senior high schools across the country against coronavirus.

The exercise being undertaken under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, began from the Greater Accra, Central, Eastern and Western regions on Wednesday, September 23.

It forms part of measures taken by the government to protect students and staff of the various schools who are to return to school from Monday, October 5 for resumption of academic work, which was halted in March this year on the back of the outbreak of the global pandemic in Ghana.

With state-of-the-art equipment, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, which has been a major player in the country’s efforts at halting the spread of the deadly virus, has been using a WHO-approved chemical in disinfecting the classrooms, offices, dormitories, assembly halls and compound of the various schools.

On Thursday, September 24, personnel of Zoomlion began disinfecting schools in the Northern Region.

They included the Ghana Senior High School, Tiyumba S/D Primary and JHS and Kalpohin Primary and JHS at Sagnarigu.

A total of 5,200 basic and 79 senior high schools in the region are benefiting from the Covid-19 disinfection exercise, which is expected to continue for the next 10 days.

Headmaster for Tiyumba JHS Chief Justice Sulley described the second phase of reopening of schools as being in order, stating the Form One students should have also been allowed to resume school for the continuation of academic work.

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“We are fully prepared for them,” he told journalists monitoring the exercise in the region on Thursday.

He said all precautionary measures have been put in place to receive the students, something he said ensured that none of the students who just completed their BECE contracted the virus, saying “there wasn’t any incident; everything went on smoothly without any problem”.

Chief Sulley assured parents and guardians of the safety of their wards.

In the Greater Accra Region, some of the schools that were disinfected on the first day were Accra Wesley Girls’ High School, Ideal College at Sakaman, St Mary’s Senior High School, and Accra Academy Senior High School.

Others were Achimota Senior High School, Osu Presbyterian Senior High School, St. Margaret Mary Senior High/Technical School and Wesley Grammar Senior High School.

Facilities disinfected in the schools included dining halls, assembly halls, administration blocks, libraries, ICT blocks, dormitories, bungalows, classrooms among others.

At the Accra Wesley Girls’ SHS, the Assistant Headmistress in charge of Administration, Mrs Gifty Korantemah, applauded government for the exercise.

She observed the exercise has greatly helped in containing the spread of the virus, particularly in the SHSs.

At the Wesley Grammar SHS, General Manager Zoomlion Ghana Limited in charge of Accra Zone, Ernest Morgan Acquah, said 109 SHSs and Special Schools in the Greater Accra Region will be disinfected.

He explained that it was crucial that a third disinfection exercise was carried out in the SHSs and basic schools, especially when the schools received final year students to enable them write their exit examinations.

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“So looking at the interval that they finish their exit exams and the fact that the schools will soon be receiving another batch of students, it was key that we disinfect their environment to protect the children from the coronavirus,” he stated.

He indicated that the cooperation so far between the various heads and his company has, once again, been excellent, noting “we have not faced any challenge since the beginning of the third phase of the disinfection exercise”.

While commending the government for its efforts in the fight against the virus, Mr. Acquah urged parents to educate their children on the need to continuously observe the Covid-19 preventive protocols.

Schools disinfected in the Central Region on the first day included St Augustine’s College and Wesley Girls.

Aburi Girl’s SHS, Ghana Secondary School, Koforidua Secondary Technical Senior High School, New Juaben Secondary and others were some of the schools which benefited from the exercise in the Eastern Region on Wednesday.