Wise decision; the earlier the better - WHO on closing schools in African countries like Ghana

The World Health Organizaiton (WHO) has backed the decision of some African countries including Ghana and Nigeria closing schools to halt the spread of coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Nana Addo

Ghana's president, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, March 15, 2020, closed all schools after the West African country recorded 6 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The restrictions also included mosque gatherings, church and funerals in Ghana.

In an Africa COVID-19 Media Leader press briefing by the WHO which had Pulse Ghana in attendance, officials from the organization indicated that although it is still monitoring and analysing what has been done in different regions, it encourages strong early precautionary measures to halt the circulation of coronavirus COVID-19.

"This is a demonstration of a decision to take strong preventive and precautionary measures once the virus has started to circulate at the community level and limit regular congregation of people who then can pass the virus around," official from the World Health Organization said in the Africa COVID-19 press briefing.

"At WHO, we encourage strong measures early on to contain the outbreak and it very much depends on local situations and what people see as the risk of free movement of people including children interaction for hours (without) end among themselves where they exchange of the virus may then be facilitated. They go home and can spread it in families.

"We are learning more and more as we analyse what has been done in different settings and in different countries to try to calibrate when might be the right moment to put in place these measures.

"At the moment it is difficult to say definitively yes or no. What we understand is the earlier this is done before you have widespread, the better.

"If you are in an environment where controlling while the virus has gone out based on conditions can be very difficult, it is a wise thing to do to put these measures in place earlier rather than later."

Ghana on Thursday, March 19, 2020 confirmed to more coronavirus COVID-19 cases to make it a total of 9 for the West African country.

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