President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akuffo-Addo says Government will release $100 million to the Health Ministry to put measures in place to prevent the deadly coronavirus from speading in the country.
In a telecast address to update the nation on the contingency measures being put in place to tackle the Covid-19 disease outbreak, President Akufo-Addo reiterated his government’s willingness to prevent the novel coronavirus.
“In order to do so, at my prompting, the Ministry of Finance has made available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance our coronavirus preparedness and response plan”, he said.
The money, he adds, is to fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education.
“Government is analysing the potential impact to our economy of the virus, and will trigger the relevant response to minimise it”, says to the President.
Foreign travels suspended
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has suspended, temporarily, all foreign travels for all public officials, as part of measures taken to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in Ghana.
In a circular issued by the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, to all appointees of the President have been directed to forthwith stay away from all foreign travels.
However, the Chief of Staff stressed that only essential and critical foreign travels will be considered and, thereafter, approved.
Consequently, the President in his address yesterday, Wednesday, February 11, 2020 directed his appointees to engage their foreigner partners outside the country through video conferencing or other communications platforms provided for my technology.
He has again asked the citizens in the country to suspend all their travelling plans at least until such a time when the disease is brought under control.
Furthermore, he again called on them adhere strictly to all the preventive measure, such as regular handwashing with soap as well as the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
In addition to the above, the President also appealed to the media to use their platforms support the Government in creating awareness and educating the public on how to prevent the disease.
The novel coronavirus, which has been christened by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘Covid-19’, has affected over 100,000 people across the world with about 4200 deaths recorded, since its outbreak in Wuhan-China.
For far 11 African countries have recorded their first cases of the coronavirus disease outbreak.
Ghana’s neighbouring countries Burkina Faso, Togo and Cote d’voire have recorded cases of the disease.
Only yesterday the WHO declared the disease a ‘pandemic and further called for strict adherence to the preventive measure while reiterating to resolve to find a lasting solution to the global menace.
President Akufo-Addo revealed that in the early days of the outbreak, he constituted a high-powered emergency response team, on 7 February 2020, to handle the crisis.
The team, he said, has been monitoring developments and reporting to him on a daily basis.
He stated that strict checks at Ghana’s entry points are being conducted, with rigorous screening procedures.