There appears to be a massive shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in some parts of the capital city of Ghana as the nation records the first two confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus on Thursday, 12th March, 2020.
At a press briefing in Accra on Thursday night, Ghana Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu announced that “the ministry of health has confirmed two cases of the COVID-19.”
According to the minister, “the cases were confirmed on the 12th of March, 2020, and the first cases to be reported in Ghana.”
Explaining further, Hon. Agyemang-Manu said, “both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey”, and that both “patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable.”
As a means to combat the possible spread of the disease, the minister has since advised Ghanaian to adhere to the following precautionary measures.
- “Regular and thorough washing of hands with soap under running water and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Keep a distance of at least two meters from a person with fever, cough, sneezing, and difficulty in breathing
- Be physically active, drink plenty of water, eat healthily, avoid stress and have enough sleep.”
The minister further cautioned persons who feel unwell and exhibited symptoms of the fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing to stay at home and contact the ministry through the numbers (0509497700, 0558439868) for immediate help.
Following the confirmed case of the deadly COVID-19 in Ghana, I visited some selected pharmacies, both in Accra and Kasoa, to find out the measures Ghanaians are taking to prevent the spread of the disease.
Almost all the 12 pharmacies I visited, there were shortages of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Meanwhile some of the pharmacies I have visited, I was told that they do not sell nose masks whatsoever at their pharmacies.
For instance, at the Kasoa Community Clinic Pharmacy, the attendant told me that following the confirmation of the COVID-19 by the Health Minister, many people have visited his outfit in search of hand sanitizers.
At Elenark pharmacy in Kasoa for example, the attendant indicated that there has a mad rush for hand sanitizers following the confirmation of the coronavirus in Ghana.
At 11 pm, Ghanaians were seen moving from one pharmacy to the other in a quest to get hand sanitizers for themselves and their families.
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first reported in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019.
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.
As of 12 March 2020, over 134,000 cases have been confirmed in more than 120 countries and territories, with major outbreaks in mainland China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran. More than 4,900 people have died from the disease and 68,000 have recovered.
President Akufo-Addo, at a press briefing within the week, said his government has made available $100 million for the fight against the deadly coronavirus in the country.
Addressing Ghanaians on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, President Akufo-Addo opined that he has directed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to release the Cedi equivalent of $100 million to boost the country’s measures and preparedness against the Covid-19 illness.
“… is to fund an expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education,” Nana Addo said when he addressed the country.
Ghana Health Minister has, however, assured the public that “the government of Ghana together with all health partners will continue to work assiduously to ensure the situation is contained.”
The writer is a Journalist and a Development Communicator.
Contact: [email protected]
By: Analimbey, A. Chris