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Business News of Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Source: Class FM

Hoteliers, GTA support UHAS coronavirus testing centre

The Volta Regional branch of the Ghana Hotels Association under the auspices of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in Ho, on Wednesday, 13 May 2020, donated items worth thousands of Ghana cedis to aid the University of Health and Allied Sciences’ (UHAS) Coronavirus sample testing laboratory.

The items include a double-door refrigerator, a floor-stand air conditioner, two wall-mounted air conditioners, veronica buckets, tissue paper, surgical gloves, surgical face masks, hand sanitisers, liquid soap, epindorf tubes and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The testing centre, opened for Volta and Oti regions, is a joint initiative of the university, the Regional Health Directorate and the Ho Teaching Hospital as part of the government's objective of enhanced testing.

Speaking to the media after the donation, the Volta Regional Chairman of the Ghana Hotels Association, Mr Mac Hotor, said the pandemic has affected the hotel industry hence the need to support the government to fight COVID-19 in order for business to return to normalcy.

"Hotel industry is into food, accommodation, drinks but none of these are working out because of this pandemic, everybody is afraid to come to the facility; that is why the industry is suffering…we can't leave everything to the government like that, that is why we're here today to support".

He revealed that some workers in the hotel industry in the region have been laid off due to the pandemic.

Mr Alexander Kwame Nketia, the Volta Regional Director of GTA, noted that the closure of borders has largely affected the industry but domestic tourism needs to be embraced to keep business running without foreign affairs.

"We think that we should now begin to look at how we can improve upon domestic tourism so that citizens within the country who knows what is on the ground will feel okay to travel around because we are not expecting the various countries to lift their borders or open their borders immediately…so, it will not make international travel very comfortable or easy but we can easily start domestic where we know that, if I am moving from here to Koforidua I know the situation in Koforidua, we are very much aware of situation in our own country and, therefore, we feel more comfortable travelling around. So, these are the things, we need to begin to see how we can begin to work around that to revamp the industry" he said.

For his part, the Head of Biomedical Sciences, who doubles as the Head of the Laboratory, Dr Kwabena O. Duedu, said the items had come at the right time that they needed them to run the lab. He revealed that since the laboratory started testing on April 27th, some 1,400 samples have been tested out of which five were positive.

He admonished Ghanaians to adhere to the various protocols because the virus is real.

The Hotels Association appealed to the government to give further support to help sustain the tourism industry and generate income for the country.

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