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General News of Wednesday, 22 April 2020


Free distribution of face masks better than hot meals – Council of State Chairman suggests

Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II

Council of State Chairman, Nana Otuo Siriboe II has proffered a suggestion to government regarding the prudent use of the COVID-19 Trust Fund in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

He said as government is trying to control the spread of the virus, a better alternative to the mass sharing of food as witnessed some weeks ago will be the free distribution of face masks across the length and breadth of the country.

According to the traditional ruler, the distribution of hot meals in some parts of the country has seen major flaws as the principles of social distancing and the wearing of protective clothes have been blatantly disregarded.

Thus, distributing nose masks to all Ghanaians would be a better option to addressing the issues that plagued the distribution of free meals. In his words, though the nose masks will be freely distributed to Ghanaians, some privileged persons could donate some money in return to sustain the fund.

He said this would go a long way to curb the spread of the virus which has claimed nine lives in Ghana and more than 150,000 globally.

“Mr President…face masks and the wearing of same have become part of the regime of prevention, i.e the three Ts; Trace, Test and Treat. We have to accept that these will also mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 and much as we appreciate the integrity and good intentions of trustees of the COVID Trust Fund, we may make a small suggestion…in the fact that if they could go out there to have the face mask sewn in millions so that every Ghanaian could have the benefit of a face mask and have it adorned ‘donated by COVID Trust Fund, it will help”, Nana Nana Otuo Siriboe II said.

He continued that, “…They may be for free but others may want to take it and put a token gesture of an amount as also their part to prevent COVID 19. It may be a better substitute than giving food which may not even get the destinations where they are intended…and even negate the principles of social distancing…I’m not a scientist but I think distributing face masks across the length and breadth of the country would go a long way to helping us address the issue of the spread…"

Nana Nana Otuo Siriboe II was speaking on behalf of Council of State members at a meeting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the members of the constitutional body at the Jubilee House on ways to kick the deadly virus.

Decentralise COVID Trust Fund

He observed amongst other things the decentralization of the COVID 19 Trust Fund as a means of generating more funds to sustain the country’s investment in kicking out the virus.

Nana Siriboe II indicated that this would enable “somebody in an outlandish part of the country to also contribute maybe through the DCE or the MCE so that his name too will be in the annals of those who came up to support with donations in times of crisis.”