Gov’t commends stakeholders on fight against COVID-19
Government has applauded stakeholders, including the general public and frontline health workers, for the various roles played in the fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government was pleased with the roles that the various stakeholders have played towards the elimination of the virus in the country.
“Much as we express concern that some Ghanaians are already taking things for granted, we commend the populace, especially stakeholders such as the medical community, parents whose wards have been in school, as well as the general population.
“As at this morning, our active cases stand at 831 and we will continue to work towards containing the situation and eventually winning this war. We thank the President for his leadership, and the people of Ghana for keeping faith with him,” he said.
It will be recalled that Ghana first recorded its index case of the virus on 12th March 2020. Subsequently, joint meetings among major stakeholders were conducted, as well as training sessions organised for teachers and other professionals on how to handle suspected cases of the novel COVID-19. This was followed by measures instituted by government to curtail the spread of the virus, including closure of schools, ban on all social gatherings, and a temporary lockdown and restrictions of the movements of people in the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi.
This, according to the Minister, was part of the government’s five-part strategy to eradicating the virus, emphasising that the decline in active cases was because of the government’s strict adherence to this strategy.
Though this five-part strategy has often been criticised by the opposition National Democratic Congress, the Minister praised stakeholders for the show of confidence and support in the fight against the virus.
“We are pleased that the majority of Ghanaians have supported our efforts and have played their parts. The exception has been the few who, for parochial political interests, have always sought to undermine the government efforts. Contrary to their efforts to always discourage people from following the government’s laid down approach, and seeking to bastardise every step government has taken so far, stakeholders have shown support, resilience and good judgment. As we have gradually commenced easing, Ghanaians have not responded to the scare mongering and other undermining tactics aimed at undermining the government’s efforts.
He also took the opportunity to admonish Ghanaians that despite the continuous decline in active cases, there should be strict adherence to the safety protocols such as intermittent washing of hands with soap and under running water, and the wearing of nose masks.
Government to provide logistical support to selected public institutions
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah also disclosed that in line with the commitment to continuously resource public institutions, government will, in the coming days, present logistical support to selected public institutions as part of the implementation of the Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP).
The logistics, which comprises of 25 vehicles, scores of motorbikes, and office equipment, will be presented to selected beneficiary entities, including the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Birth & Deaths Registry, and some selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Minister noted that these logistics are to augment the vehicles and office equipment available in these institutions, and also forms part of government’s moves to equip state-owned institutions with logistics and resources needed to effectively and efficiently discharge their duties.
“The development objective of the PSRRP is to improve efficiency and accountability in the delivery of selected services by these public entities. The project partially supports the implementation of Ghana’s National Public Sector Reform Strategy (2018- 2023) through a World Bank credit facility.
“It is the expectation of government that these logistics will further enhance the service delivery, efficiency, accountability and citizen engagement of the beneficiary organisations,” he added.
The Minister also charged these institutions to ensure that the logistics are used effectively, and for the purposes for which they are intended.
President as ECOWAS Chairman
Meanwhile, Mr Nkrumah says the government welcomes the appointment of President Akufo-Addo as Chairman of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS). Mr. Nkrumah, who was speaking at the same press conference held in Kumasi, noted that the appointment of the President as the Chairman for the West African regional block at a time where the region is battling a pandemic, economic challenges, and insecurity, is a show of confidence in his leadership style.
“The Republic of Ghana receives with gratitude the election of President Akufo-Addo as the new Chairman of ECOWAS by the Assembly of heads of state at their 57th meeting in Niamey, Niger, yesterday. Ghana notes that it being an election year here, it is rare that our President will be given such a task and honour, especially at a time that the sub-region is battling a pandemic, insecurity and economic challenges. We note, however, that this election is an expression of confidence in the ability of President Akufo-Addo to multi task both locally and internationally, even in the midst of all these complexities,” he said.
The appointment of President Akufo-Addo took place at the 57th ECOWAS Summit held in Niamey, capital of Niger, and he will replace Nigerien President Muhamadou Issoufour. He is expected to chair the union for a period of one year.
According to the Minister, the appointment of the President will benefit the block in ways that will bring the fulfillment of the objectives of peace, progress and prosperity.
“Gleaning from commentary from the sub-region about the impressions of our compatriots about how President Akufo-Addo has steered the affairs of this Republic in the last three and a half years, we note an expectation that the President’s steady and considered leadership will percolate across the region and inure to the benefit of all across the region. As Mr. President mentioned in his acceptance speech, the peoples of West Africa deserve no less than the fulfilment of the objectives of peace, progress, and prosperity,” he added.