Ugandan schools reopen for candidate students amid COVID-19

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A member of staff has her temperature measured before entering a school in Kampala, Uganda, Oct. 15, 2020, Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua
A member of staff has her temperature measured before entering a school in Kampala, Uganda, Oct. 15, 2020. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Sept. 20 that schools, colleges and universities will reopen for the 1.2 million students in candidate classes and finalists in tertiary colleges and universities on Oct. 15. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

Ugandan schools on Thursday reopen for candidate students to resume studies after seven months of the government closure over COVID-19 pandemic.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the ministry of health spokesperson, told Xinhua that the government has provided strict standard operating procedures guidelines and put robust mitigation measures in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as schools reopen for candidate classes.

“We gave them (ministry of education) standard operating procedures and we have someone (health technical officer) attached to them on supervision of the guidelines,” said Ainebyoona.

President Yoweri Museveni last month directed the reopening of schools, colleges and universities, closed in March for the 1.2 million students in candidate classes and finalists to complete their studies amid a spike in COVID-19 infections.

“We think that it is safe because finalists in each learning institution are a much smaller number compared to the total enrollment,” said Museveni.

“Finalists account for less than 10 percent of the total number of students and therefore, each group of finalists will have bigger space for social-distancing — whether they are in day schools or boarding schools,” he said.

He said the plan for further reopening schools for non-finalist learners in the east African country will be decided by January 2021.

As of Thursday, Uganda had recorded 10,117 COVID-19 cases, 6,725 recoveries and 96 deaths, according to the health ministry.

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