WHO plans schools reopening amidst COVID-19

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners are developing the guidelines to reopen learning institutions and World’s economies despite the pandemic.

Dr. Wamala Joseph Francis, the WHO Country’s Preparedness and International Health Regulation Officer told the weekly briefing on coronavirus via Cisco Webex from Kampala on Sunday that the health agency was considering such steps since the lockdowns were becoming unsustainable.

“Especially as countries begin to open their borders, it is becoming increasingly known that lockdowns are not sustainable, and so we need to have balance between containing the virus using public health measures and ensuring that economies and schools reopen,” he narrated.

The Health Specialist figured out that balancing life with the impact of the virus would help in overcoming challenges being faced during the pandemic.

Dr. Wamala revealed that they were offering technical guidance to countries to maintain maximum measures of containing transmission as well as reopening the borders, schools, businesses and social amenities in the way that does not contribute to further escalation.

The Health Professional affirmed that the health agency was also embarking on more scientific studies into the effect of COVID-19 as survivors call for more research. 

“And as WHO, we commit to support this and we also commit to work with countries to open economies, socieities, schools and businesses safely without accentuating transmission,” he said.

Dr. Wamala said the negative impact of the children staying out of schools were extremely clear as many had suffered abuses, adding that they would continue to suffer if they keep out of schools.

He added that major economies were also redundant with the impact the pandemic given the eight months of its existence.

Dr. Wamala said they were working hard to return the World to normalcy despite challenges.

“We need to have these guidelines in place as schools open.  Otherwise the guidance now is that countries need to be cognizant of the level of transmission in the communities as they make decisions to open up schools,” he said.

He called on the governments to put other guidelines in place to ensure that children and students adhere to the COVID-19 measures in the due course of the countries reopening.

“And of course this is what we WHO with partners are offering to governments to ensure that good guidelines are set up so that rights decisions are made on when, where, and how should the schools be opened as well as economies,” Dr. Wamala concluded.

He advised the countries to invest unto public health to acquaint its responses with the impact of the pandemic. 

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