Members of Parliament have expressed mixed reactions to the confirmation of two cases of the novel coronavirus in the country.
While some believe the nation’s health system can deal with the threat, others have called for improved preventive measures than it prevails currently.
The Member of Parliament for the Tamale North Constituency, Alhsasan Suhuyini while expressing confidence in Ghana’s health institutions to rise to the occasion, he also called for more restrictions at the nation’s entry points.
“Well, I think that over the years we have been surviving by grace and finally it is here. It’s only a matter of time giving the levels of preparation so I was not very confident that we will escape it. So far we have been told two people have been confirmed to have the virus, they obviously imported it and I’m sure perhaps it calls for more restrictions at our entry points in this country. I also think that we have not taken this issue seriously as a country in the beginning and that is why I am worried by our nature, now that it is confirmed, we will up our game and improve our protocols and ensure that lives are saved. It will definitely have an impact on our economy.”
The Tamale North further called on the Ghana Education Service to review its protocols and close down some schools if need be.
“I have also heard some schools have already started closing down so GES should also review their protocols and possibly close down some more schools…If we thought that we were insulated, now it’s here but I think we have the capacity to deal with it when the institutions are made to work the way it should.”
The Member of Parliament for the Effutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin also said the government has been transparent to the people of Ghana but was quick to add that the novel virus will bring a lot of difficulties to the world’s economy especially that of the developing countries.
“Well, I will say so far, so good in terms of preparations. The president addressed the nation and at least outlined some measures. The government again was very transparent and did not hide the two confirmed cases. And institutions that may be affected one way or the other are also taking some preventive measures. So I think we must all be alert of the preventives. So we will have to be on the lookout and be careful. This is really a global problem and a client of mine sent pictures of how empty the Dubai airports have become and businesses are not flowing the way it should be and it will slow the world’s economy.”
The Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency, Samuel Nartey George called on the state to provide as much information as possible on the issue to the public to allay fears.
“I raised issues about our preparedness and the fact that we were not being very transparent with the issues considering that the Jamaican government issued a statement and gave more details but we are getting our government give information in bits and pieces. It’s a worry. We need to have proper containment and handle the issue. Do we need to shut down our entry points? Even the USA has shut down its airports to epicentres and if we had done the same, these people won’t be here. The bottom line is we just need to be real and factual with this issue and I don’t want to speak of panic but we need to have proper containment measures.”
Ghana record two cases of Coronavirus
On March 12, 2020, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, at an emergency press briefing confirmed that Ghana has recorded two cases of the novel virus.
The two cases according to the Health Minister, tested positive after laboratory tests from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research.
According to the Health Minister, the cases were reported as ‘imported cases’ as both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey.
“Both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey. So these are imported cases of COVID-19.”
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday said the two persons who tested positive to the virus had been in the country for about a week.
How to protect yourself
To prevent the spread, the World Health Organisation recommends regular hand washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
People are also advised to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.