General News of Saturday, 29 February 2020
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has called for the appearance of the Health, Aviation and Foreign ministers before parliament to present the house and the general public in effect, with details about the current status of Ghana as far as issues relating to Coronavirus is concerned.
The virus; COVID-19 has spread fast, killing thousands since its outbreak in China’s Wuhan Province.
Now in over 50 countries, the virus has officially recorded 83, 726 cases, with 2, 859 deaths while 36,723 out of the recorded cases are said to have recovered.
The most recent updates indicate that Nigeria in West Africa has recorded its very first case as of Friday, February 27, 2020, as confirmed by the country’s Federal Ministry of Health.
With Ghana close to Nigeria; approximately 668 miles by air and 1,075 kilometres, questions have begun emerging about the preparedness of the country in the face of the global pandemic.
Speaking on the floor of parliament Friday, Mr. Ablakwa said the speed with which the disease is spreading makes it prudent and in fact necessary that Ghana works on its loopholes ahead of any eventualities.
“We do know how the matter is getting out of control. Now 48 countries have reported that they have the virus in their country, including Nigeria, it is now in West Africa, more than 88,000 infected cases. The South African President has announced that they are going to evacuate their nationals, all 133 from the Wuhan city”, he said.
“Other countries are also imposing flight restrictions, they’ve moved beyond medical preparedness, and other controls. I think that it is important for the three ministers; Health, Aviation, Foreign Affairs and Regional integration to appear before us and let us know the latest mechanisms being put in place to 1. evacuate our students in Wuhan, 2, to respond to current trends. I’ve seen the World Health Organisation put out a publication that Ghana is on a watch list of vulnerable countries in Africa, these are all matters that must concern this house and I hope that the majority leader will give us some positive indication in this regard.”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service says it will continue to intensify preparedness activities and heighten surveillance at all points of entry to prevent any suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19) into the country.
The Port Health Authority at the Kotoka International Airport, under the Ministry of Health has also indicated ongoing measures to ensure citizens are safe and travellers are screened before they are allowed into the country.