Coronavirus: "Set Up And Chair Public Health Emergency Committees In All Regions" — Regional Ministers Told
Following the directives of President Akufo-Addo on measures at combating the deadly Coronavirus, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development(LGRD), Hajia Alima Mahama has directed all Regional Ministers to collaborated with their Health Services to set up and chair a Public Health Emergency Committees (PHEC) which will help contain and prevent the spread of the disease.
She said this effort will help operationalise and monitor the implementation of Akufo-Addo's directives within their areas of jurisdiction.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, Hon. Alima Mahama said, "MMDCEs have also been directed to chair the PHEC set up by their Health Directorates in their jurisdictions especially at market places, lorry parks and other public places to prevent the spread of the virus."
She added that members of the PHEC will include; Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executives (Chairpersons), Members of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Security Committees, District Director of Health, District Director of Education among others.
She further mentioned that the District Information Officer, District NADMO Coordinator, District Environmental Health Officer, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, District Office of National Ambulance Service and District Coordinating Director(Secretary) will not be left out.
She was of the view that the setting up of public sensitisation teams under the overall guidance of the PHEC to undertake the public health education on COVID-19 in all places has been provided with mobile vans and other means to improve hygiene standards.
She however called on MMDCEs to negotiate for free time on FM Stations in their respective district to broadcast messages and educate public on preventive measures.
"They are to ensure the availability of handwashing facilities with running water and hand sanitizers at vantage points in markets and all such public places," she stressed.
Hon Alima Mahama emphasised that following the directives, MMDAs have commenced the distribution of flyers and posters as well as the playing of jingles in local languages on local FM stations to help in the education and sensitization of the public on the virus.
She also disclosed that some Assemblies have also began monitoring and enforcement of the directive at industries, hotels, supermarkets, nightclubs and private health facilities with support from the security agencies.
"My Ministry has briefed its staff on COVID-19 and have hence limited visits likewise acquiring gun thermometers to check the temperature of all persons who enter the Ministry. We also have hand sanitizers," she noted.
Taking his turn, Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Operations at the Ghana Immigration Service, Mr Laud Affrifa revealed that Ghana has denied entry to 31 passengers who tried to enter the country after the government announced new measures on travel restrictions to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
"There was a challenge at Abidjan Airport with their necessitating a decision by that country to reroute their flights to Ghana, however, we sent the flights back to Cote d'Ivoire," he stated.
He indicated that strict measures have been put in place by the Immigration Service to ensure that no person infected with Coronavirus enters the country either by air, sea or borders.
Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah noted that his Ministry is partnering with the various Unions at lorry Station to ensure that drivers and their assistants adhere to the measures put in place.
"Drivers and their mates must do well to wash their cars after every trip with disinfectant. This will help reduce the spread of the virus," he stated.
He asked drivers to take details of their passengers in order to help authorities to track persons who show signs of COVID-19 in their cars.
However, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah clarified that President Akufo-Addo has not tested positive for COVID-19 as circulated by some online portals adding that the media should desist from spreading false information.