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General News of Thursday, 26 March 2020


Ghana 'now properly prepared' for coronavirus – Health Minister declares

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu

Ghana’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has declared the country is now adequately prepared logistically, to deal with the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus cases.

Sixty-eight people mostly Ghanaians, have contracted the viral disease in Ghana with three fatalities recorded within the last week.

More than 1000 Ghanaians who arrived in Ghana after the shutdown of the country’s borders are currently under mandatory quarantine and out of the 863 people who have been tested, 38 have been confirmed positive as at Wednesday.

Some medical experts, including the Ghana Medical Association have been pushing for a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the disease now before it gets out of hand as the country’s health facilities does not have the capacity to handle the situation should it get worse.

Before such a decision is even taken, some frontline health workers have also been raising concerns about their safety, claiming they lack logistics, particularly protective gears.

But the Health Minister told Ghanaians Wednesday Ghana is ready to handle the disease which has affected thousands of people and killed thousand more across the globe as health systems are overstretched beyond capacity.

“We are now properly prepared,” Mr Agyemang-Manu declared while receiving a consignment of assorted protective gears donated by the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma which arrived in the country Wednesday morning from Ethiopia.

Beyond the thousands of items donated by the Chinese, he said, Ghana has already started receiving medical supplies procured by the government and that a lot more were expected to arrive by the end of this week.

“We expect that apart from these items that we have taken, we will take into inventory close to about 30,000 protective equipment, several quantities of mask, sanitizers”.

He revealed that close to about 18 Ghanaian companies have now been registered to produce hand sanitizers locally “so we are no more procuring sanitizers…we are producing them locally”.

Some philanthropists and corporate institutions in Ghana have also started donating to the Health Ministry.

“We’ve received about a 100,000 cedi cheque from GCB Bank…yesterday, The Pentecost Church donated a lot of items. Tobinco has donated a lot of items to us, we are taking an inventory, at the appropriate time, we will publish all these donations for us” Mr Agyemang-Manu stated.

Earlier on Tuesday at a news conference to brief Ghanaians about the update on Ghana’s coronavirus situation, the Minister said Ghana has adequate isolation centres to take care of those under quarantine.

“We have adequate room in Accra, various centres to take care of those who tested positive,” he stated, but added government was working to identify a lot more areas outside Accra to be used.

More than 471,400 people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. More than 114,000 have recovered, while about 21,000 people have died, Aljazeera reports.

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