Govt will bear cost of mandatory quarantine — Oppong Nkrumah
The Minister of Information, Mr Kodjo Oppong Nkrumah, has said the government will bear the expenses of all persons who will undergo the mandatory quarantine and test under the reviewed travel restrictions to stop the further importation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) into the country.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Saturday directed the closure of all the country’s borders — land, sea and air — to human traffic for the next two weeks, with effect from midnight of Sunday, March 22, 2020.
He said anybody who came in before the coming into force of the ban should be mandatorily quarantined for 14 days.
The President also directed that all people traced to have come into contact with confirmed cases be tested for the COVID-19.
Kudos to media
In a related development, the Information Minister has commended the media for the role they had played in controlling and preventing the spread of the COVID-19.
Speaking at a sensitisation forum for editors and senior media managers in Accra yesterday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the media were key in helping to contain the spread of the virus.
More than ever before, he said, the media had proved to be a trustworthy partner in the exercise.
According to him, the forum was organised to sensitise the media to create more awareness of the virus and become
ambassadors to spread accurate information on the COVID-19.
A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, stressed the importance of engaging experts to obtain facts on the virus to enable the media to report on it accurately.
The Special Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, said the COVID-19 was not a respector of persons and, therefore, advised people to consider everybody as a potential carrier.
He said the epicentre of the disease had moved from China to Europe and could also hit Africa, saying it was for that reason people needed to practise physical distancing, washing of hands with soap under running water and observing all safety protocols.
He urged the media to help dispel misinformation on the COVID-19, saying those untruths were causing so much fear and panic in society.
He also asked people not to panic but remain calm and co-operate with the government in its efforts to contain the virus, adding that the people should always depend on the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for authentic information on the disease.
Dr Nsiah-Asare said the government would take delivery of more test kits tomorrow, while more test centres would be established across the country within the week.
He also said apart from the government procuring more ventilators, health facilities had been asked to set up isolation and treatment units to deal with any crisis situation.
He explained that the essence of quarantining travellers was to deal with the problem of import cases and, therefore, appealed to Ghanaians whose relatives and friends were involved not to visit them during that period.
He expressed concern over the fact that some youth were defying measures such as avoiding large gatherings and reminded them that there was no literature that suggested young people were immune from contracting the virus.
Dr Nsiah-Asare said the situation could get worse, warning that considering the fact Ghana’s health system was not robust, it was important that people heeded the advice of the government.
Ghana has so far tested 315 people, with 24 confirmed cases.
One of the infected persons, a foreigner, passed on last Saturday.
All remaining 23 infected people being treated in isolation are responding to treatment.