The Government has selected and tasked five local manufacturing companies to immediately commence the production of nose masks to help fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This was announced by the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, after receiving some personal protection equipment (PPEs) donated by the Chinese government to 18 African countries with a government delegation.
According to Mr. Agyemeng-Manu, the companies had been tasked to make available 3.6 million nose masks in the next 10 days.
“The five companies that have been selected to produce the nose masks will start production by the end of this week and we expect to take delivery of 3.6 million nose masks within 10 days,” the minister said.
This follows the government’s announcement of collaborating with some local manufacturing companies to help with the domestic production of PPEs.
“It is for this reason that Government is actively engaged with local manufacturing companies to assist them in the domestic production of PPEs and I am encouraged by the response from the Ghanaian private sector. Domestic production of face masks, head covers, surgical scrubs, and gowns will commence from Tuesday. For example, three million, six hundred thousand face masks will be produced domestically, with an output of one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) per day,” the president announced on Sunday, April 5.
Government fast-tracking the test for COVID-19
In order to facilitate the process for testing of COVID-19 and to avoid delay in results, the Health Minister said the government had set out measures to expand COVID-19 testing in the country and also ensure that results from the tests were released as early as possible.
He assured that the government has strengthened all the structures put in place at the national, regional and district levels to test all persons who had been identified through contact tracing or willingly wants to test for the disease.
Speaking to the media, the Health Minister also indicated that although the government is employing local measures to contain the pandemic, it would equally rely on the expertise of countries to overcome the challenge.
“The systems for healthcare delivery in Ghana and Africa, in general, are very fragile. We have not positioned ourselves well enough to do what China did to contain the pandemic. While we are at it, we’ll draw from the Chinese experience to help us succeed,” he said.
What does this mean for the local manufacturing companies?
Mr. Agyemang-Manu said the new decision to produce the nose masks locally would not only increase protective equipment in the country but it would also secure the businesses of local manufacturing companies and broaden their capacity.
“As we move forward in the fight against COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly clear that we will all have to begin wearing nose masks for protection and so we need more of the stuff,” he said.
He mentioned that considering the encouragement of the wearing of nose masks as one of the ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19, it was necessary that more of the equipment was produced.
This would also lead to an increase in employment from the local manufacturing companies and reduce the job loss associated with the COVID-19.