President Nana Akufo-Addo will later today, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 visit the Kotoka International Airport, the Ridge Hospital and the Tema General Hospital to inspect work done so far in preparation of an outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 in Ghana.
It follows assurances from health officials that Ghana is prepared for any suspected or confirmed case of the virus.
The President’s tour will afford him the opportunity to interact with health officials and others assigned to fight the outbreak and spread of the virus in Ghana.
Following the outbreak, the Ministry of Health designated the Ridge Hospital and the Tema General Hospital as centres to manage possible cases in the country.
It said the move is part of Ghana’s plans to prevent and control any case that may be detected in the country and ultimately protect the Ghanaian population.
The Ministry has also enhanced the process by applying it to all international arrivals at Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
President Akufo-Addo has said he was unhappy with attempts by the Minority side in Parliament to introduce what he calls “ill-judged politics” into debates surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have a delicate situation on our hands, Mr. Speaker and it doesn’t benefit anybody to try to score points by introducing ill-judged politics into this ongoing medical conundrum and humanitarian tragedy. And I entreat this honourable house to set up an example by helping to pour oil over troubled waters instead of instigating tension and spreading fear and panic among the young people,” the President said while delivering his 2020 State of the Nation Address in Parliament.
Health Minister to brief Parliament
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu will also today brief Parliament for the second time within a month over the preparedness of the country to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus has claimed several lives worldwide with confirmed cases in Senegal and Nigeria in the West African sub-region.
Mr. Manu is expected to give an update on the systems and measures put in place to deal with cases if need be.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu who announced the scheduled appearance of the Minister in Parliament said: “Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday 4th March 2020, the Minister of Health will come to the House to update the country about the state of preparedness of the country as far as the development [coronavirus] is concerned. Admittedly, it cannot be said that the country has obtained 100 percent preparedness. But certainly, we are on high alert to track and trace any case that may occur in the country.”
The disease, which started in the Chinese town of Wuhan has spread to at least 70 countries leading to over 3,000 deaths.
Over 90,000 cases have so far been recorded worldwide.
African countries like Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal have also recorded cases of coronavirus.
Per Ghana’s preparedness plan, the state claims to have developed messages and education materials on the virus though they do not appear to be in circulation.
The plan also said radio and television discussions and engagements on the outbreak and Ghana’s preparedness activities have been started and are ongoing but these too are not in mainstream media.
So far, the government’s communication on the matter has focused on information on the evolution of the “outbreak globally, clinical symptoms, directions on prevention and measures being taken within the country to early detect and manage possible cases.
Pressure group, OccupyGhana on Monday recommended seven ways Ghana could position itself to counter the outbreak of coronavirus.
The OneGhana Movement also expressed worry about the nature of Ghana’s preparedness for a potential novel coronavirus case in Ghana.