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General News of Thursday, 23 April 2020

Source: Prime News Ghana

ECOWAS COVID-19 summit goes virtual today


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Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will on April 23, 2020, hold a meeting.

The extraordinary session will be a video conference meaning it will be held virtual with no form of contact.

The purpose of the summit is to discuss the coronavirus situation and the impact of the pandemic on countries who are members of ECOWAS.

Already, ECOWAS has made available financial support, in addition to assistance from international partners, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight against the pandemic.

Data from 15 Member States as of April 21, 2020, indicates that there are 5,774 confirmed cases, 147 deaths, 1,616 recoveries and 4,011 active cases.

All Member State of ECOWAS has pledged solidarity in these trying times and have vowed to assist each other to help end the virus.

That solidarity has been seen already as ECOWAS last week distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), test kits and medication to its member countries.

The West African Health Organisation (WAHO), ECOWAS’s specialized health institution responsible for coordinating the response at the regional level, has also drawn up a Regional Strategic Plan with all member states.

“WAHO has already purchased and dispatched to the 15 Member States, 30,500 diagnostic test kits, 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Coveralls, Aprons, gowns, gloves, goggles, boots) and 740,000 prescription tablets (Chloroquine and Azithromycin),” ECOWAS said in a statement.

Additionally, orders have been placed to acquire for the Member States, 240,000 diagnostic kits, 240,000 extraction kits, 250,000 viral sample transport equipment, 285,100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 268,1000 masks for medical personnel (face masks, surgical masks, full face masks), 120 ventilators, 7,000 litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants.

Meanwhile, the Ministers in charge of finance and the governors of central banks from the region have also held a virtual extraordinary session on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, on the COVID-19 situation.

As of April 22, 2020, Ghana's COVID-19 cases stood at 1,154 with 9 deaths and 120 recoveries.

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