UNICEF Ghana COVID-19 Situation Report No. 14: 1 - 31 January 2021

Situation Report
Originally published


Situation in Numbers (as of 31st January 2021)

67,010 confirmed cases

53,301 recoveries

416 deaths

5,358 active cases

Over 9.2 million children benefiting from schools reopening

US$ 26.9 million funding required

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Ghana experienced a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases of SARS-COV2 (coronavirus) in January 2021. As of 31st January, the number of confirmed cases since the outbreak stood at 67,010 (an increase of 12,239 in the course of the month). Eighty-four (84) people were reported to have died as a result of COVID-19 in January 2021, taking the total number of lives lost to 416 since the first official cases were recorded in Ghana in March 2020.

For the first time in nearly 10 months, children returned to class after the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ghana Education Service (GES) announced the plans to re-open schools. Across Ghana, Senior High School students in Classes 2 and 3 commenced on 15th January 2021, while the majority of school children – from Kindergarten One to Junior High School Three - resumed on Monday 18th of January. Some students (SHS1 and SHS2 Gold track) are operating on a slightly different calendar due to exam dates and are scheduled to resume on 10th March 2021.

To ensure a smooth and safe re-opening of school, the Government of Ghana has put COVID-19 protocols in place in all schools, and has provided supplies such as veronica buckets, soap, thermometers and face masks. Schools were fumigated, disinfected and mapped to a health facility for identification and treatment of suspected cases of coronavirus. COVID-19 response teams have been trained in schools to ensure the adherence to the safety protocols.

Comprehensive “Guidelines for School Re-opening during COVID-19” were published and distributed to all Regional, Metropolitan and District Directors of Education and Heads of all schools (Kindergarten to Senior High School).

On 31st January 2021, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, adressed the nation in relation to the sudden upsurge in cases. H.E the President announced further tightening of restrictions, which included the banning of large gatherings. He recommended teleworking or a shift-system for all workplaces. Churches and mosques were asked to adhere to the two-hour duration services with adequate COVID-19 protocols in place. Due to the small number of cases in schools, they remain open, with similar strict observance of safety protocols. Ghana aims at vaccinating the entire population, with an initial target of 20 million people.