Four schools including Bishop Cipriano SS, Masaka College of Health Sciences, Vine Paramedical School and Kabala School of Nursing and Midwifery have registered some students with COVID-19.
A statement released by the health ministry on Tuesday, November 24 afternoon says, “To-date, the Ministry of Health has unmasked a transmission cluster in four learning institutions.”
However, the government says that these schools should not close despite the confirmation of posture cases unless it is in consultation with the Director-General of the Ministry of Health.
It adds, “Schools should enforce ‘Stay Home’ policy for learners and teachers that feel unwell, with quick linkage to health authorities.
Schools have also been asked to step up surveillance and also engage in health education.
Save for these schools with infected students, the rest of the 1.2 million learners are carrying on well in 18,533 primary and secondary schools which were cleared to re-open to candidates, in the country. The schools in Uganda re-opened on October 15, starting with candidate classes, seven months from the time President Yoweri Museveni had ordered for their closure.
The government of Uganda had imposed a lockdown as a pre-emptive measure to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This action saw all schools and education institutions close in March 2020; and over 15 million children were locked out of school with no certainty of when they would reopen, till the President cleared them to open for finalists, at the end of September.
Schools are also confident that COVID-19 can be controlled at the schools. The headteacher for St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Bro. Deodati Aganyira says, “If we maintain the SOPs, we will surely be fine. So far, we have made a great start. We hope this situation, with no infections in schools, is maintained.”
Patrick Mukasa, a proprietor of three schools including Victoria Mutundwe Primary School says, “It is easy to manage a smaller number of students and we have so far done well. If we are careful and adhere to the SOPs, we will overcome this COVID-19 threat,” he explains.