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Coronavirus: Govt to acquire 50,000 testing kits

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About 50,000 coronavirus testing kits are on the way to Ghana as President Akufo-Addo announced tougher restrictions to stall the spread of the virus.

In a televised speech on the progress of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, the President said one of the 19 victims died yesterday.

He said eight out of the 21 people who have been infected by the virus are doing well and are being managed from their homes.

President Akufo-addo added that plans have been made to procure additional 50,000 testing kits to augment the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

The president, however, ordered the closure of Ghana’s borders from Sunday, March 22, 2020.

This, he noted, would help reduce further escalation of the Coronavirus infection rate in the country.

President Akufo-Addo announced during his broadcast to the nation on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

The address on Saturday is his third address to the nation since Ghana recorded its first case of the novel Coronavirus.

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‘Almost every country is asking China for help’ – Chinese Ambassador to Ghana

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The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, has said almost every country on the globe is begging his country for help in terms of personal protective equipment in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which first broke out in Wuhan.

While presenting a consignment of PPE to the government of Ghana on Monday, 6 April 2020, Shi Ting Wang said: “China, itself, has just tasted the bitterness of COVID-19 and is still recovering, “but at the same time, many other countries, especially some European countries which have been hard hit, are calling for our help”.

“To be honest, nearly every country in the world has asked for China’s help. In the face of such a huge challenge, we have managed to procure these supplies and get them here in chartered flight when all scheduled flights have come to a halt. It is not easy, per se”.

“This effort shows China’s firm commitment to China-Africa relations and further strengthening the strong historical bond between China and Africa”, he said.

The items donated include A60 metric tonnes of essential material including personal protective equipment with a volume of 400 cubic metres to Ghana and 16 African countries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from Ghana, the PPE consignment, which touched down at the Kotoka International Airport today, Monday, 6 April 2020, will be distributed to Nigeria, Senegal, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia and Liberia.

The rest are Mali, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Benin, Republic of Congo, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Principe.

Alarmed at the hard times being experienced across the globe, the Chinese government says it is forced to share its limited stock of essential materials with nearly every country in the world.

For her part, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, noted that the pandemic is global in nature, hence, the need for close collaboration amongst all nations, adding: “May l, on behalf of the other 17 beneficiary countries, express similar gratitude to the government of China for its kindness. I am confident that at the appropriate time, the relevant authorities in these countries would be able to express personal appreciation for this offer.”

Source: classfmonline.com

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Asiedu Nketia questions govt’s plan to feed over 400,000 Ghanaians

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General Secretary for the NDC, Asiedu Nketia has raised concerns over government’s plan to provide food for over 400, 000 Ghanaians during the COVID-19 fight.

President Akufo-Addo during his late-night address disclosed that the government has begun the distribution of free meals to over 400,000 Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.

In his address, Nana Akufo-Addo admitted the hardship the situation has brought on the majority of Ghanaians adding that there was however the need for the provision of “food packages and hot meals” to enable poor households to minimise their vulnerability.

“We are in difficult times, and that is why I directed the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), whose objective is to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, minimize job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.”

He added that, “through this Programme, the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Local Government and Rural Development, and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), working with MMDCEs and the faith-based organizations, have begun to provide food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions. This begun in Accra and will begin in Kumasi the next day. It will come in the form of dry food packages and hot meals and will be delivered to vulnerable communities in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa.”

Reacting to the announcement, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said there are issues with how the government is going to identify the needy in our society because for the fact that most people do not go to work, they may also need the intervention.

According to him, most often these interventions turn out to be what he describes as ‘in the name of the poor but for the benefit of the rich’.

He stated that there is no mechanism to verify if truly the food will get to the 400, 000 people, without this system of verification, the government can say they have provided for 400,000 Ghanaians and no one can verify it but we all just have to accept.

Asiedu Nketia also spoke about how the food will be disbursed and accompanying accountability, he argued that party members should not be allowed to head this programme to score political points.

But rather the local assemblies should be used for this purpose because it’s state intervention.

Source: primenewsghana.com

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Businessman, Nana Kwame Bediako pledges his luxurious $50 Million Oxford Street hotel to support coronavirus fight

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Ghanaian Real estate developer, Nana Kwame Bediako, has pledged one of his premier properties on Oxford Street to be used as a quarantine location, isolation centre or a temporary hospital.

Nana Kwame Bediako also known as ‘Freedom Jacob Caesar’ said his 5-star luxury serviced apartment hotel is up on offer as a safe place for nurses, doctors and other medical personnel should the need arise in the country’s battle against the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Bediako is the founder of the Kwarleyz Group, an umbrella company that encompasses Wonda World Estates, Petronia City Development, New Africa Construction, and Belfast City & Property Management.

“We are hoping that the disease does not affect more people in Ghana. But should the need arise, we are preparing to work with government and health organizations to utilize No 1 Oxford Street Hotel and Suites as a centre to house victims and/or medical personnel.

“We invested over $50 million to complete No 1 Oxford Street which recently opened in January but I am moved to offer the property to be used for good, to help my people during this critical time,” Mr Bediako said.

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