Government allocates GHc 2.5m for coronavirus fight

Government has set aside GH¢2.5 million to respond to the global outbreak of coronavirus.

The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu made this known in Parliament on Tuesday.

He said the government is stepping up efforts in preparedness against the outbreak, which has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The government of Ghana has allocated an amount of GH¢2.5 million as start up funds towards the implementation of the initial response for our national preparedness plan. The Ministry of Health (MoH) has initiated plans to procure 10,000 pieces of personal protection equipment for the use of all our frontline workers,” the minister said.

The coronavirus outbreak has killed at least 427 people and infected more than 20,000 globally as it continues to spread across the world.

No African country has recorded a case of coronavirus yet.

There have been calls for Ghana to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to prevent the outbreak from reaching Ghana or well-managed if a case is reported.

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu told MPs that his outfit has intensified media campaigns to educate Ghanaians on preventive measures.

“Media engagements have started and are ongoing. We are using multiple channels such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for information dissemination. We continue to conduct monitoring and provide responses through health promotion surveillance and intelligence… I wish to indicate that the government of Ghana is doing everything possible to prevent and protect against the outbreak and the spread of the infection in Ghana,” he said.

He added that the government is making efforts to procure 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for frontline health workers as well as plans to “procure insurance cover for all frontline health workers who may be engaged to do this work for us.”

Students in China get support

As calls intensify for the evacuation of some Ghanaians in China, where the coronavirus started, the government through the Embassy in China, has given out a sum of 50,000 RMB (estimated to be around GHC 39,500.05), to the China Chapter of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS-China) to support the affected students especially those in the virus-stricken city of Wuhan in Hubei province to buy food and medical supplies.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has selected the Tema General and Ridge hospitals as response centers for the virus, as the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research has been chosen as the laboratory to test for reported cases of the virus.