KNUST temporarily halts academic activities over COVID-19

Kumasi Academic activities at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana’s premier science and technology tertiary educational institution, have been put on a temporary hold.

This is part of precautionary measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) disease, of which Ghana had so far recorded six confirmed cases.

“The authorities would soon come out with an official statement spelling out our preparation for the coming weeks,” Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe in-charge of the University Relations Office (URO), told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in Kumasi.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a nationwide televised address on Sunday, March 15, announced measures taken by the government against the spread of the pandemic – including a directive to all universities to close down.

Senior high and basic schools, both public and private are also to halt academic activities, effective Monday, March 16.

When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the KNUST campus on Monday morning, the lecture halls were virtually empty, and the usually busy roads leading to the various Colleges and Faculties were deserted.

The KNUST Commercial Area, which is characterized by brisk business activities, had seen relatively less activities as at 1000hours.

Administrative work, however, was on-going with some offices at the Administration Block opened for business.

Counting the cost associated with the latest development, the majority of members of the University community in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), expressed the hope for the better in the face of the threats posed by the pandemic.

While the students were complaining about the inconveniences that may come with the possible changes in timetables for academic programmes, traders and those whose livelihood depended on the University’s value chain rued the socio-economic negative effects.

“This has come as a big blow to the student body since we were preparing to sit for our mid-semester examinations,” Ransford Osei, a Level 100 Student of the KNUST Faculty of Art and Built, told the GNA.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December, 2019.

Infection may start with sore throat, running nose, fever and cough. This may later progress to difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.

The pandemic has claimed more than 6,500 lives worldwide, according to an estimate from Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and additional sources.

More than 170,000 confirmed cases had been reported globally.

Source: Ghana News Agency