Ghana's Finance Minister to release $100m for coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo hints

The government of Ghana has announced that it is releasing some $100 million to the health ministry in the quest to prevent the deadly coronavirus in the country.

Ghana's Finance Minister to release $100m for coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo hints

Although Ghana's neighbouring countries including Burkina Faso, Togo and Cote d'voire have recorded cases of the disease, the government said it is more than willing to prevent the menace from entering the country.

The president of the country, Nana Akufo-Addo said this while addressing the nation on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, themed: Coronavirus: Updates on enhanced measures taken by government.

According to him, "Government is analysing the potential impact to our economy of the virus, and will trigger the relevant response to minimise it."

Adding that "In order to do so, at my prompting, the Minister of Finance has made available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance our coronavirus preparedness and response plan, that is to fund expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education."

Background

Already, President Akufo-Addo has suspended, temporarily, all foreign travels for all public officials, as part of measures the government has taken to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana.

In a circular issued by the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, 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 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.

Stop shaking hands

At the 63rd independence day celebration, in Kumasi, on 6 March 2020, President Akufo-Addo admonished Ghanaians to stop shaking hands completely, and cover their mouths when their cough and sneeze to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Describing the disease as a medical crisis that is bringing in its wake deaths and economic difficulties, and is spreading fear and panic throughout the world, President Akufo-Addo revealed that in the early days of the outbreak, he constituted, on 7 February 2020, a high-powered emergency response team to handle the crisis.

The team, he said, has been monitoring developments and reporting to him on a daily basis.

He stated that strict checks at Ghana’s entry points are being conducted, with rigorous screening procedures.

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