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Coronavirus: Health Minister to brief Parliament on Ghana’s preparedness today

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu will today, Wednesday, March 4, 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.”

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.

Entry point security

The Ghana Health Service is also said to be in the processes of shoring up Ghana’s surveillance efforts at points of entry.

At the moment, Ghana’s 14 approved entry routes are manned by health workers monitoring human traffic.

As far as Ghana’s points of entry are concerned, the state has held stakeholder engagements with the Ghana Airport Company limited management and the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana Immigration Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Tema Port to strengthen surveillance systems.

Coronavirus outbreak in China will adversely affect Ghana’s economy – Analyst

A Health Economist at the University of Ghana, Dr. Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah says the coronavirus outbreak in China will adversely affect some sectors of Ghana’s economy.

He explained that since Ghana does not have the capacity to produce some items it imports, the country stands at a high risk of having a negative net effect.

“If you look at our relationship with China, our net effect will be negative because someone would argue that given that we import, and if import goes down, that will be good for us. But the point is that most of the items we import from China are items that we currently don’t have the capacity in-house to be able to respond if there is a shortfall. So that is definitely going to be negative. Our economy in a substantial adverse is driven by the trade sector so if people who are not able to get to China and get their wares, what it means is that activities will slow down that will affect household income and local consumption and that will have a ripple effect on other sectors in the economy,” Dr. Abekah-Nkrumah added.

Already, some spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai in Accra had earlier decried adverse effects the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in China is having on their businesses.

The dealers said the outbreak of the virus has led to the shortage of some of their stock as their suppliers have suspended production due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

They said although there are alternatives to some of the products they import from China, the associated challenges have slowed down their businesses.


Source: CNR

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