Develop Specific Strategy to Respond to COVID-19; don’t mimic others– Nana Addo to ECOWAS leaders
President Nana Akufo-Addo in a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the Coronavirus pandemic via Zoom has asked ECOWAS leaders to develop a specific strategy that befits their countries as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interacting with West African Heads of States via zoom, the President urged his colleagues not to mimic strategies developed by other countries in containing the virus.
“I think it’s very, very important that we tailor a specific Ghanaian, African response to the handling of this pandemic, and not necessarily copy blindly the methods that are being adopted by countries to the north of us and elsewhere.”
The President during the interaction mentioned that the enhanced tracing and testing of samples in the country has led to 85,000 Ghanaians being tested for the virus.
“So far, over 85,000 Ghanaians have been tested. We are looking to test as much as 100,000. This has enabled us to get a hang of the geographic footprint of the virus, of identifying the epicenters of our country, and also better understanding the dynamics of the virus, while we are treating and isolating infected cases.”
He added that in attempts to mitigate the community spread of the virus the government has encouraged the adherence to the hygiene protocols including the wearing of face masks.
“We are encouraging the hygiene protocols – the washing of hands, the social distancing and also wearing face masks. Happily for us, under the present circumstances, our infection rate continues to be 1.5% of the screened population, and it has remained at this figure for some time. We are encouraged that, hopefully, we will see to its reduction.”
COVID-19 cases in Ghana currently stand at 1,154 with 120 recoveries and 9 deaths so far. The Greater Accra Region alone has recorded over 900 cases.
Measures taken by the Government to reduce COVID-19 impact on social life
The government has taken some specific measures to limit the impact of the virus on the economic and social life of Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo in the meeting with ECOWAS leaders indicated that specific measures had been taken to provide relief for all Ghanaians, stressing that “we have relief programs to provide free water, subsidize electricity in order to deal with the impact on especially vulnerable segments of our society.”
“The onset of the pandemic has also given us an opportunity to scale up domestic production for medical material, protective equipment as well as medicines, sanitizers and the rest.”
Another measure such as GHS 600 million has been provided as a stimulus package to support businesses especially Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the wake of the pandemic.