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General News of Friday, 10 July 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Five government institutions badly hit by coronavirus

When the government removed lockdown restrictions and okayed the return of people to their respective workplaces, there were concerns that the workplaces could become the next hub of coronavirus infections.

With some workers patronizing poorly spaced public transport services and converging in their offices, the idea that infections were going to be recorded at workplaces was a matter of when and not if.

Government, it must be said anticipated the new challenge workplaces could pose to the country’s fight against the virus and duly announced guidelines for employers and employees to follow.

But as seen in the changing trends of the Covid-19, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to how one can protect himself or herself. Protection from the virus requires a chain of strict adherence from all parties, which unfortunately exists not.

It was, therefore, unsurprising when the Minister of Trade announced after weeks of easing lockdown restrictions, that workplaces are becoming the new hotspots.

Some companies, agencies, organizations have been badly hit and forced to ‘bow’ to the virus. Some have either been forced to shut down or alter their operations.

GhanaWeb brings you five government institutions that have been hit badly by the virus

Bulk Oil Storage and Transport

The head office of government’s premier oil storage and transport firm has been closed down after a sizeable number of its staff tested positive for coronavirus.

Samples taken of workers by health experts proved that about 36 of the staff are coronavirus patients.

The company on Monday announced that it has shut down its main office and asked workers who have been infected to self-isolate.

Ministry of Finance

On July 8, 2020, The Ministry of Finance announced that its premises has been shut down due to an ongoing coronavirus testing exercise. Ken Ofori Atta’s ministry in a statement asked the staff to work from home while the testing is ongoing.

It, however, added that the staff working on the mid-year budget review will work from approved locations.

In view of the preparations towards the mid-year review of the Budget, a core team of staff will work from home from approved locations to complete the Mid-Year Review. All other staff will work from home using the Ministry's approved digital channels," the memo read.



Ghana Cocoa Board

After some staff tested positive for the virus, the Ghana Cocoa Board had to close down its head office for fumigation works.

A statement dated July 6 relayed the management’s decision to suspend operations in the building from July 8 to July 10 allows for fumigation.

The statement noted the fumigation exercise is to ensure that other staff are protected.

90% of Ministry of Education staff infected

45 out of every 50 staff at Ghana’s Education Ministry are coronavirus patients, the sector has said.

In a live interview with Peace FM, Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh who recently recovered from the virus said:

“After my second result came out as positive, testing was conducted on all staff at the ministry and the results showed that out of every 50 persons, about 45 had contracted the virus. Most of them are asymptomatic so they are isolating at home.”



Judiciary

Reports indicate that Ghana’s judicial organ has been badly hit by the virus.

Some judges, clerks and other staff of the judicial service have been reported to have contracted the Coronavirus.

The Chief Justice is currently on the advice of his doctors.

He will be working from his official residence at Cantonments in Accra, according to a statement dated July 7, 2020 signed and issued by the Judicial Secretary, Ms Pamela Cynthia Addo to all High Court judges.



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