#Coronavirus: Telcos lend support to fight against COVID-19

BY: Isaac Yeboah
Ing. Ken Ashigbey, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications
Ing. Ken Ashigbey, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT) has expressed the willingness of its members to support the government and other key stakeholders in the nation’s quest to combat the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

A statement issued by the CEO of the Chamber, Ing. Ken Ashigbey said as the global pandemic continues to spread and disrupt everyday life, it is imperative that Ghanaians stay connected and reiterate the readiness of the industry to support government, businesses and customers in leveraging on the power of telecommunications for the greater good of the society.

To this end, GCT said its members have thus engineered and enabled the following activities aimed at complementing Ghana’s efforts to fight the coronavirus.

  • Institutional partnerships with the Ministries of Communications, National Communications Authority, Ghana Health Service, Bureau of National Communications, National Security to broadcast emergency communications using our network infrastructure to educate the general public
  • Working with the above-mentioned institutions to route all calls to the Covid-19 emergency numbers at no cost to the public.
  • Collaborating with the Bank of Ghana to implement free mobile financial services transactions within certain bands to promote digital forms of payments and augment social distancing which will reduce the rate of new infection.
  • We continue to give a lot of education to our staff at all of our offices and branches. We have provided handwashing facilities, sanitizers and protective gear for our staff among other initiatives in a bit to curtail any spread of new infections.
  • We have put in place plans for our staff to work from home to guarantee service availability at all times to facilitate seamless service provision to everyone
  • Zero-rating critical websites that provide Covid-19 awareness and safety protocols.
  • Offering further packages for identified educational, and related websites as well as other critical Government of Ghana portals that offer essential services to citizens
  • The industry fraud team is equally working assiduously to fight coronavirus-related fraud and misinformation on our networks.

The chamber assured the public of service availability and the resilience of networks and services adding that “We are working closely with our Regulators and sector Ministry to ensure the adequate controls are in place to guarantee service availability, which can support customer experience for the larger population during these times.”

The Chamber also urged the general public to refer to the Ghana Health Service website for relevant information and updates, and to maintain social distancing, practice respiratory hygiene and wash hands regularly.