The Bono Regional Public Health Emergency Management Committee (RPHEMC) has urged the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) to caution private school owners against over-loading of school buses.

The committee said the MTTD should arrest school vehicle drivers for overloading and failure to observe COVID-19 protocols to serve as a deterrent.

The call was made at the RPHEMC meeting attended by members and other stakeholders in Sunyani to discuss the situational report of the COVID-19 outbreak and management in the region.

Touching on the possible infection of school children and how to prevent the spread of the pandemic in schools, the Committee observed some of the school buses load the school children with some younger sitting on the laps of the elderly ones.

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The Committee, therefore, decided to take steps to caution school authorities, particularly the private schools whose buses over-loaded the school children to do the right thing regarding the acceptable number of persons per vehicle for the health and safety of the students.

The Committee appealed to the government to extend the provision of personal protective equipment to private schools because some parents and guardians did not provide nose masks to their children and wards.

Among other decisions taken by the Committee was the suggestion for the formation of COVID-19 ambassadors in the schools to encourage their colleagues to observe the safety protocols.

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The RPHEMC again suggested on a spot fine could be introduced to assist in the enforcement of wearing of a nose mask and added that satellite markets should be re-introduced in the urban centres to ensure social distancing.

Dr John Ekow Otoo, the Deputy Bono Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service in-charge of public health earlier in an address said though the COVID-19 vaccine was going to be introduced, compliance with safety directives and adherence to protocols was the best way in preventing the spread of the pandemic.

Mr James Ankamah, the Regional Health Educational Programme (SHEP) Coordinator and a member of the Committee announced efforts were being made for Senior High Schools’ students to be screened for COVID-19 to enable them to study in safe environments.

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