Coronavirus: Bank of Ghana issues directive to all financial institutions to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has directed all banks and all other financial institutions in the country to put measures in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison

This is coming after Ghana recorded 6 cases in less than a week. The coronavirus pandemic has killed over 6,000 people out of nearly 170,000 cases globally.

The authorities have described all six of Ghana’s cases as imported because all infected individuals had traveled to either Europe or the USA over the past two weeks.

In a statement the BoG said all institutions must ensure that all Banking Halls, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Counting Machines and other relevant equipment are sanitized on a regular basis.

The banks and other financial institutions are to ensure that their frontline staff are provided with protective equipment and gears such as gloves, face masks among others.

“The Bank of Ghana has been following the news and developments of the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Not only has the life-threatening nature and rapid transmission of this disease been felt globally, but its significant impact on the global economy is also being felt, especially in advance economies. Central Banks in these jurisdictions, have taken measures to mitigate the negative impact of the Pandemic.”

The BoG said it will continue to assess the possible impact of the Pandemic on the domestic economy and is taking the necessary steps to mitigate its impact, to ensure financial and economic stability.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee is thus scheduled to meet from Wednesday (March 18, 2020) to Friday(March 20, 2020).

“The Committee’s assessment of the situation and interventions shall be communicated accordingly on Monday, 23rd March 2020. In the interim, however, all Banks, Savings and Loans Companies, Finance Houses, Microfinance Institutions, Rural and Community Banks and Foreign Exchange Bureaux, are directed to activate their business continuity and disaster recovery plans proportionate to the current circumstance, and to review these plans as the situation changes.”

The Central Bank also entreated the public to refrain from panic withdrawals, and banks and specialized Deposit-taking Institutions shall remain open to offer services to customers.

Meanwhile, some banks in the country have already started implementing safety measures to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Banks have sent out messages to customers and urged their clients to remain calm.

Stanbic Bank for instance in a text told its clients to ensure they have less contact with banknotes while they use more digital channels. This is because currency notes have been found to be one of the conduits for the spread of the COVID-19.

Ecobank said, “it is collaborating with key health agencies on COVID-19 to ensure your safety while you do business with us.”

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