Covid-19: Senegal postpones resumption as teachers test positive

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Senegal has postponed resumption of schools until further notice after several teachers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Education Ministry said late on Monday.

The government had earlier announced on May 20 that schools would resume on Tuesday June 2 after weeks of lockdown.

Senegal has recorded 3,739 positive Covid-19 cases since the start of the outbreak, with 43 deaths.

The Ministry said teachers tested positive for coronavirus in Ziguinchor, in the Casamance area, south of the country, but  did not mention the number of teachers who tested positive and in how many schools.

It said Senegal’s President MackySall decided to “postpone the restart of classes until a later date, in order to avoid any risk of the virus spreading in schools.”

Meanwhile, government had begun transporting teachers in chartered busses from the capital Dakar, to schools in other regions since last week in preparation for resumption.

The ministry said however, that the movement has been suspended until further notice.

Senegal was the latest country in the West and Central Africa region to plan restarting schools despite a continuing rise in coronavirus cases.

Cameroon, which has recorded 6,397 coronavirus cases and nearly 200 deaths, resumed classes with the government saying it had put in place health safety measures including regular hand-washing, temperature checks and compulsory wearing of masks.

Schools also resumed in world’s top cocoa grower Ivory Coast last week, and in neighbouring Burkina Faso on Monday.

In Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a speech on Sunday that schools and universities will reopen on June 15 to allow final year junior high, senior high and university students to prepare for their examinations.

Ghana has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the region with 8,070 cases and 36 deaths.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke