Superior afternoon girls and gentlemen and welcome to what will be a extremely small ceremony.
The COVID-19 pandemic that international locations all around the planet like ours, are possessing to grapple with, has uncovered the fissures of inequality in our modern society. Several thousands of our countrymen and women of all ages, hazard starvation and hunger since they are no lengthier in a position to transfer freely to get paid a residing. Given the mother nature of the illness, we can only continue to urge fellow countrymen and women of all ages to heed the directions issued by federal government and remain at house as much as practicable.
Make sure you continue to be Household, so that we can all help minimize, if not halt the unfold of the coronavirus. The situation faced by many bread winners in households across the spots afflicted by the partial lockdown and over and above is dire. Lots of are either not able to go about their income-creating functions, or their operate areas have shut down as a final result of the lockdown or the pandemic.
Yesterday, Monday, I gained a mail from a young college teacher in Adenta who lamented that she is struggling and starving due to the fact the faculty has shut down and her companies have even now not paid them for the months of February and March. She is not by itself in this scenario. In a lot of these types of circumstances, we have experimented with to lend aid as significantly as our implies would let.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I have welcomed the utilisation of element of the Stabilisation Fund to reduce some of the unintended consequences of the lockdown occasioned by this pandemic. This involves the distribution of meals to deprived communities in just the affected regions. Organized competently, this is a welcome lifeline to lots of deprived homes that encounter the grim prospect of starvation as a consequence of the tumble-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regretably stories from the area are a result in for fear, each in phrases of the quality of the hot meals served and the manner of distribution of the food stuff. The about-crowding and common scramble for foodstuff that characterizes this training defeats the protocol of social distancing and can speed up the unfold of the virus.
If trust is engendered in the individuals that the approach of distribution will be good and that the distributors will carry out their duties justly, and they are confident of their flip in a transparent way, people will be a lot more calculated and will not hurry for the meals in a way of the ‘survival of the fittest’.
We should also be aware of what happens to folks who reside with disability in conditions this sort of as this. We must also prioritise in buy that the food products attain all, especially small children, expecting women and nursing mothers. There have also been unfortunate reports of needs for celebration affiliation as an identifier for no cost foodstuff, purchased from the State’s resources. This will have to stop now and immediately because Coronavirus does not know NPP and NDC. Neither does it know CPP, PNC, PPP or APC etcetera.
In purchase to ameliorate this obstacle and ensure transparency, I reiterate my recommendation that government actively requires the Conventional Authorities, Assemblymen and girls, CSOs and NGOs in addition to faith-centered organisations to steer and guarantee truthful, equitable and non-partisan distribution of food and necessary things to the susceptible, together with men and women with incapacity.
These critical stakeholders know their communities improved and they know those people who really need to have help. So let’s entail them now! Accordingly, I have in perspective of the scenario a lot of of our persons are going through, procured and will be producing readily available, meals objects to cater for a total of 20,000 households across these regions impacted by the lockdown, and these include things like the locations of Better Accra, Kasoa and Better Kumasi.
Girls and gentlemen, these merchandise – Rice, Oil and Canned Fish – will be sent to our conventional rulers in the lockdown regions the Ga Standard Council, the Tema Traditional Council, the Kpone Standard Council, the Awutu Senya Standard Council, the Asanteman Council, the Council of Zongo Chiefs in equally Accra and Kumasi and the umbrella bodies of religion-based mostly organizations and persons dwelling with incapacity. We rely on these bodies to coordinate and handle a fair distribution of these things to households in their regions.
I am requesting the chiefs to operate actively with the assembly users of the influenced locations in purchase to make certain that the things get to the men and women who it will address, and they are delivered to their properties. There should be no gatherings and big crowds at the palaces or any locations in a way that negates the country’s attempts in direction of running the COVID crisis.
Just as I came to the help of our health employees when there was a dire need for protecting outfits, this help to some 20,000 homes should be performed in a honest and just fashion devoid of any parochial considerations. This is a widow’s mite to support our people in these hard instances. We are all in this jointly, and we must get care of one particular a different, no make a difference exactly where. We are one persons, bound by one adore – and this is a time to create bridges, not barriers to carry appreciate, hope and belief, not detest and mistrust.
I desire on this observe to reiterate my connect with for a broader participation of traditional leaders, heads of religion-dependent organizations, Assembly gentlemen and gals and community CSOs in the efforts at make contact with tracing, surveillance and public schooling in regard of the COVID-19 disorder.
In this regard I contact on the President to urgently fulfill with the Countrywide Residence of Chiefs and solicit the assist of our chiefs in this regard. This is also important taking into consideration the claimed resistance communities are placing up versus the use of facilities in their location for location up isolation facilities.
My brothers and sisters, the stressing pattern of the boost in confirmed situations of Coronavirus bacterial infections – 566 as at yesterday – calls for a focused motivation by us all to supporting the combat in opposition to the infections.
The most up-to-date extension of the lockdown period is accordingly proper. We need to assistance our safety staff to implement the directives and make sure that movement in the course of this interval is minimized in order to halt the spread of the virus. Considering the new conditions getting learned, it is very clear that we are moving into a new stage where there is the commencing of a horizontal unfold of the sickness. This demands us to redouble our attempts in the fight versus the pandemic.
Extra testing centres have to have to be set up in purchase to shorten the waiting around time for success. This is important so that suitable types of the expected trajectory of the ailment can be made in order to tutorial any selections on easing the restriction of movement of persons. We must set up a National COVID-19 Command Centre geared up with proper communication programs and lender of phone strains with volunteers retaining in contact with folks who are in quarantine, individuals who are in isolation, all those who are awaiting effects and individuals suffering symptoms of the illness.
Call tracing is extremely significant in this phase of the struggle from the pandemic. Reports that people engaged in make contact with tracing are threatening to cease perform are worrisome. Authorities need to quickly consider steps and correctly incentivize these people today so that they can continue the significant get the job done they are included in. We need to also look at out for the expanding stigma developing close to this infection. There are reviews that particular person who have examined good have fled their communities mainly because of concern and ignorance about the condition.
This growth of suspected cases can hinder the battle towards the virus, specifically in the light-weight of the CDC estimation that one particular contaminated particular person has the possible to infect as many as 500 other persons.
General public recognition desires to be stepped up. Messages made in all the big nearby languages ought to be produced and played extensively on all media, community and private. Government can make the most of a clause in the NCA Act that compels media both general public and private to deliver airtime to air messages this kind of as this in instances of unexpected emergency.
This clause proved helpful all through the struggle versus Ebola and can occur in useful yet again at this time. There are escalating stories of the added benefits of wearing masks to avert and gradual the distribute of the condition. Examples are offered about the very low fee of infection in the Czech Republic is simply because of the widespread use of deal with masks.
In an before suggestion I advocated for regional dressmakers and garment providers to be utilized to develop hundreds of thousands of reusable deal with masks for free distribution to the public. People moving into general public places or gatherings have to be compelled to put on these masks. These masks ought to be washed each day and pressed with a sizzling iron so it is completely ready to use on an additional celebration. Surgical masks and other health-related masks have to be reserved for our overall health personnel.
I admit government’s reaction to the contact of the Ghanaian men and women to put into practice a raft of coverage interventions, which seek to lessen the unintended outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic on our persons. In get for us, the folks of Ghana, to notice the needed benefits from the subsidies in electric power tariffs announced, I urge the President to assure and fund the Electrical energy Organization of Ghana (ECG) and the Electric power Producers to permit them to discharge their obligations without interruptions owing to inadequate funds to order gas to make ability.
In the confront of substantially reduce global prices for crude oil, I reiterate my simply call for a temporary reduction in LPG selling prices to permit homes decide for its use in these difficult periods when their incomes have dwindled thanks to the lockdown. It has also emerged that the definition of who a ‘Frontline Health Worker’ is, was not appropriately assumed via by govt when the President announced the commitment package deal.
This issue is demoralizing and demotivating many a health and fitness worker. I suggest that a dialogue with the Ghana Clinical Affiliation (GMA) and other specialist well being-related unions would reach a consensus on how the incentives package deal could be utilised. The GH¢80 million from the Stabilization Fund (SB) budgeted for this, can be applied far more relatively to maintain the morale and esprit de corps among our well being personnel in these essential times.
This may possibly also be the time for authorities to make use of far more medical professionals and other wellness personnel-in-waiting around who has been idling at household, some for lots of several years. This may possibly become important as several wellbeing employees who suspect they may perhaps have been uncovered to the virus have started to self-isolate in get not to further distribute the condition.
Likewise, our stability staff have been complaining, not only about the excellent and frequency of their foodstuff rations, but also their COVID-19 responsibility allowance. It is vital for authorities to address this urgently in buy to retain the morale of the officers and adult men and women of all ages engaged in this critical national work out, due to the fact just like health and fitness employees, they are also jeopardizing their life to interact with the general public throughout this pandemic. It will be useful to also present them with reusable encounter masks, gloves and sanitizers for their self-defense.
At this position, Federal government has not nevertheless dealt with the have to have to negotiate with the Telcos for a reduction in their tariffs to reward the thousands and thousands paying out longer hrs on the web and producing phone calls. As I speak, a number of college students and pupils are having lectures and faculty periods on the net since of the Coronavirus condition. This has drastically amplified their expenditure on internet use to the extent that some can no lengthier cope. Indeed, there have been reports of numerous college students who are not able to complete on line lectures just before their ‘data’ operate out. Various people today are also doing work from residence.
Thanks to these pressing needs, I want to provide the issue of value of web and voice services back again as a different precedence plan agenda. I have currently suggested that govt can assure the Telcos of a absolutely free 6 (6) months extension of licenses – some of which are to expire quite quickly. This worth can be applied to cushion customers throughout this 3-thirty day period time period.
Additionally, the Telcos can also be compensated with cash from the Ghana Financial investment Fund for Electronic Conversation (GIFEC), which now has the mandate to guarantee common entry to telecommunication. On top of that, the Nationwide Facts Technological know-how Company (NITA) need to leverage its strong broadband infrastructure – 4G mobile web pages and optic fibre cables, a ton of which were deployed throughout my time – to meet up with the increased demand from customers for wi-fi and set broadband in these COVID-19 times. The removal of the 50% enhance in the CST will deliver more reduction for the several who are getting to work or continue to be at house at this time.
Even however h2o tariffs have been absorbed for the future three months, there have been loud grievances of interruptions in the offer of treated water by means of pipes and / or h2o tankers. I urge govt to redouble its attempts in this sector in buy to give this means to the marketing campaign for normal handwashing with cleaning soap beneath running water.
A even more measure, which would go a very long way to cushion SMEs and personal Ghanaian family members, would be for the Financial institution of Ghana to open up a dialogue with the banking companies and economic establishments to provide a 3-thirty day period moratorium on payment of money owed to borrowers. I comprehend one lender has currently voluntarily introduced such a concession. This will be useful at a time many Ghanaian organizations are shut and breadwinners of people have had to continue to be at dwelling and simply cannot generate an income.
It is also time to discover the role of option medicine and standard therapies in the battle towards the coronavirus. Some common medications are recognized to boost the immune procedure and can help both in the prevention of individuals succumbing to the sickness and also engage in a position as a palliative functionality in the administration of people suffering with COVID-19.
It is predicted that this pandemic and the disruption of worldwide trade and financial action will adversely impact the economies of producing nations around the world. Ghana is no exception. The quick keep track of acceptance by the IMF of the hugely concessional Rapid Credit score Facility is as a result well timed and incredibly welcome. This will aid cushion the economic system from the potential risks of recession.