Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has taken delivery of covid-19 medical supplies for Ghana and 17 other African countries.
The items were presented to the Ghanaian Government on Monday, April 6, 2020, by the Chinese Government towards the fight of coronavirus in Ghana.
They included about 3,000 N95 protective face masks for frontline health workers, 10,000, protective face masks, 2,500 disposable overalls, infrared thermometers, medical goggles, single use of gloves, and disposable shoe covers.
Speaking at the Kotoka International Airport to take delivery of the items, the Foreign Minister on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana expressed profound gratitude to the Government of the People's Republic of China for the kind and timely donation of medical supplies to support Ghana's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This donation this morning is testament of the enduring and exemplary relations between China and Africa which is anchored on the principles of sincerity, equality, mutual benefit, solidarity and common development,” she said.
She indicated that “It is also a clear sign of China's sense of reciprocal solidarity for African countries in these challenging times.
Indeed, the Minister explained, in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of the novel corona virus in Wuhan, African countries led the way in offering solidarity to China.
She noted that the President and Vice President of Ghana personally sent solidarity messages to their Chinese counterparts.
Incidentally, she said this donation takes place in a year which marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Ghana and China.
The Minister pointed out that in this regard, the donation should not only be viewed as China's humanitarian gesture towards Ghana, but also as a manifestation of 60 years of the two nations' collective efforts to broaden and consolidate their bilateral relations.
“I therefore wish to request you, Amb. Shi Ting Wang, to kindly convey our deepest appreciation to President Xi Jinping, the Government and the people of China for this generosity,” she says.
“Let me also thank you personally, Mr. Ambassador Wang, and your team, for facilitating the speedy arrival of these much needed medical supplies, which will no doubt, go a long way to augment the efforts of Government to fight this pandemic,” she added.
She indicated that since the outbreak of this virus, Government, under the leadership and personal supervision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has put in place extraordinary measures, including the establishment of COVID-19 structures at the national, regional and district levels; the sourcing and allocation of funds, the restriction of movement of people, and the procurement of critical PPEs and other logistics, all aimed at fighting the virus and curtailing its spread.
“Meanwhile, our health institutions are expanding our testing coverage to include all persons believed to have come into contact with confirmed cases, people who entered Ghana between 3rd and 21st March, 2020, as well as people living in areas identified as epicentres,” she said.
She added that “at the same time, our research institutions continue to explore treatment and vaccine options for this novel virus,” according to her.
“COVID-19 is a global problem. It has no respect for physical boundaries or social status. It is a threat to our collective existence,” she said.
“That is why we require a collective response to mitigate and possibly eradicate its devastating impact.”
The Government of Ghana is encouraged by the global response and highly commends efforts made by all Governments and institutions across the world to curb its spread, she added.
“The other 17 beneficiary countries of this donation, express similar gratitude to the Government of China for its kindness,” she said.
Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, also joined the Foreign Minister to thank the Chinese Government.
He says the Government of Ghana least expected to record cases of the virus in Ghana.
He noted that Ghana is expanding the testing capacity.
According to him, the systems for health in West Africa are very very fragile
He stated that it is becoming very clear that all and sundry would need to wear face mask.
Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, says the donation was a way to help people in need.
He stated that the Chinese Government has chosen Ghana as the transport centre for the donations to the other 17 countries.