The decision comes amidst a rising number of COVID-19 positive cases across the country.
Minister Nalova Lyonga said in a press release Thursday, March 4, 2021, that her ministry intends to urgently carry out COVID-19 screening on all students and staff.
“The Minister of Secondary Education hereby informs the national and international community that owing to the rise in the number of cases tested positive to COVID-19 over the past few days, the Ministry of Secondary Education intends without further delay, to systematically administer COVID-19 screening tests to all students, as well administrative and teaching staffs of secondary schools and teacher training colleges nationwide,” the press release read in part.
“This screening campaign aims at reducing the cases of infection and to allow for the serene continuation of the 2020/2021 school year,” she explained.
According to the Minister of Secondary Education, the screening campaign shall be carried out with the support of the Ministry of Public Health.
“Henceforth, access to school campuses shall be conditioned on the presentation of a recent COVID-19 test with a negative result,” she ruled, looking forward to the understanding and full collaboration of each stakeholder of the entire Education Community.
Cameroon shut down schools in March 2020 after it recorded its first COVID-19 cases. Seven months after on October 5, 2020, schoolchildren returned to their classrooms.
At the time, the government said it had considerably reduced the spread of the disease. A two-shift school system was introduced in populous schools. The respect of COVID-19 barrier measures was also made imperative in all schools. But it was not long before the barrier measures were abandoned.
Last month, Public Health Minister Manaouda Malachie said, “As we can see, the situation is becoming worrying again. We must scrupulously respect the 13 measures laid out by the Head of State, which have not of course been repealed. Let's only go out when necessary and systematically wear our masks.”
To date, Cameroon has recorded 35,714 positive cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 551 have died while 32,594 have recovered.