Ghana: Gov’t allocates GH¢2.5m to address possible Corona Virus outbreak

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As part of measures to prevent outbreaks of the Novel Corona Virus in Ghana, government has allocated GH¢2.5million as emergency startup funds toward implementing the country’s initial response and preparedness plan to tackle a possible outbreak, Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu has announced.

“The ministry has initiated a process of procuring 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for the use of all front-line workers, and arrangements are being made to procure insurance cover for all front-line workers,” the minister said.The minister made this known on the floor of Parliament when he briefed members of the House on the current state of the health systems as regards the outbreak of Novel Corona Virus Infection, and Ghana’s readiness to manage the situation in the event of a possible outbreak in the country.

The first outbreak of the virus was reported in China during December 2019 and it is fast-spreading to other countries around the world – with over 20,000 cases reported and 427 deaths in China and 26 other countries as of 4thFebruary, 2020.The World Health Organisation (WHO) has since recommended member-states to prepare toward preventing further international exportation of the outbreak, by strengthening systems to manage the situation.

In the area of coordination, Mr. Agyemang Manu noted that Public Health Emergency Management structures at national, regional, and district levels have been activated and placed on high alert.

Also, according to him, measures have been taken to enhance screening at the points of entry.

There are also designated treatment centres, isolation facilities, and holding places for the management of confirmed and suspected cases respectively.

Commenting on the subject, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mohammad Habibu Tijani, disclosed that some US$4,286 has been released to cater for a few basic needs of some Ghanaians in China.

He noted: “There is an estimated 30,000 Ghanaians across China, out of which there are close to 8,000 students. The Embassy of Ghana in Beijing is in touch with them through their leadership.

“The ministry, on behalf of government, has granted approval for the mission in Beijing to extend an amount of ¥100,000 – equivalent to US$4,286 – to cater for emergency needs such as medical vaccines, nose-masks, sanitisers and food supplies; especially for Ghanaians in Wuhan and its environs.”

He added that there are ongoing discussions on the possible evacuation of Ghanaian students from China when the need arises – advising that those involved should fully cooperate with the local authorities in China as they take all measures necessary to contain the epidemic.However, Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has said that the said amount (US$4,286) is woefully inadequate – calling on government to set up an efficient emergency fund to deal with the situation. (B&FT).

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