Coronovirus: 6 response plan and measures by Ghana’s government

With the number of cases outside China increasing in 13-fold in two weeks, Denmark which has 514 confirmed cases, up 10-fold since Monday among other cases in many countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) labelled coronavirus as a pandemic, hence the need to take precautions.

Coronovirus: 6 response plan and measures by Ghana’s government

Already, all of Ghana’s immediate neighbours [Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo], have recorded confirmed cases of infections, and countries like Italy, where there is a large population of Ghanaians, have escalated their response to the outbreak.

Although Ghana has as of now not recorded any case of the menace, it is therefore important for the country to put in place measures to prevent it (coronavirus) from entering the country.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, addressed the country on the measures put in place to enhance Ghana’s coronavirus preparedness and response plan.

The Information Minister as well added some of the measures that showed Ghana's preparedness to prevent the menace.

Here are 6 measure that shows Ghana's preparedness and response plan towards the menace

1. Stop issuing visa to people visiting the country from epicentre of the coronavirus

The country has for the meantime stop issuing visa to people visiting the country from epicentre of the coronavirus.

This is in the quest to prevent the deadly disease from entering the country.

The Information Minister of the country said this while he spoke to Accra based Citi FM on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

He added that people who already had visa to enter the country will be screened thoroughly and if possible quarantined for some days to check if they have the disease.

2. Health officials screen people arriving in the country at Kotoka airport.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has extended enhanced passenger screening at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to all international arrivals.

The filling of health declaration forms by only passengers with connections from China, which began on January 24, 2020, now covers all arrivals at the KIA.

The ministry said the enhanced measures included the modification of the health declaration forms at the airport to suit surveillance demands due to the outbreak of the respiratory disease.

3. Ridge and Tema General hospitals as Coronavirus case management centres, Noguchi to investigate

Ghana’s Ministry of Health has designated the Ridge Hospital and the Tema General Hospital both in the Greater Accra region as centres to manage possible cases of coronavirus in the country.

In a statement released by the Ministry, it said that this is part of the country’s plan to prevent and control any case that may be detected in the country and ultimately protect the Ghanaian population.

Also, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIR) has said that according to the ministry it is well-resourced to diagnose coronavirus infection and has since been designated as the laboratory for investigating the virus.

4. $100 million provided to enhance coronavirus preparedness

President Akufo-Addo said he had directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance Ghana’s coronavirus preparedness and response plan.

This amount, according to President Akufo-Addo, “is to fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education.”

5. President suspends all international travels by public officials, urges citizens to desist from all foreign travels

Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo has suspended, temporarily, all foreign travels for all public officials.

The move, according to him, is part of measures the government has taken to prevent the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 in Ghana.

The Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare said this in a circular issued and addressed to all sector Ministers and their deputies, Regional Ministers and their deputies, all Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives, and all Heads of Government Agencies, the Chief of Staff stressed.

The statement noted that only essential and critical foreign travels will be considered and, thereafter, approved.

“The directive, together with other measures being put in place by Government, is intended to protect the general public from contracting the virus. Please take note and ensure compliance,” the statement added.

The president has further asked citizens to desist from foreign travels where possible.

“…all of us as much as possible, [must] desist from all foreign travels, except the most critical ones, until there is a grip on the virus,” he said.

6. Information Ministry to provide weekly updates on Coronavirus in Ghana

President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced that the Ministry of Information will in the coming days provide Ghanaians with weekly updates on the state of the country’s preparedness regarding the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

He said other major updates will be provided should need be as a measure of safeguarding the country from a possible outbreak of the disease.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday, 11th March 2020, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Ministry is also at the fore of a nationwide public sensitization to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus which has claimed over 4,500 lives around the world.

“The Ministry of Information is leading a nationwide public education campaign on preventive measures. But we must all observe and ensure that we are able to control the spread of the infection should we record any infection in the country which mercifully, so far we have not but which by the law of averages, we shall. But for the time being, a weekly update of the situation will be provided by the Ministry of Information. There will be more frequent updates when the need arises.”

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