The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has commended the National Information Contact Centre for the role they are playing in Ghana’s fight against COVID-19.
The Vice President, who is Chairman of Ghana’s COVID-19 Monitoring Team, paid a working visit to the Centre, which has been turned into the National COVID-19 Call Centre, on Thursday to be abreast with their operations.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah took the Vice President through the centre’s COVID-19 operations, which mainly focuses on receiving calls from the general public for COVID-19 related information.
The Information Minister told the Vice President that the centre liaises with relevant government agencies for swift responses to issues, adding that the centre has so far received over 12,000 calls from the general public for interventions in areas such as PPEs and medical supplies, ambulances, food and water supplies.
Speaking during the visit, the Vice President said the centre’s role is crucial to providing government the needed information to be able to respond effectively to the crisis.
“I am very impressed with what I have seen here thus far,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“As you know, government runs on information and information produces data and then we can analyse the data and take decisions based on data so the opening of this centre is very important because government needs to hear from the people on what are the issues that concern them.”
“Fortuitously, the Centre has been operational, coincidentally with the COVID-19 crisis. They have quickly recaliberated the contact centre to be abke to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.”
Having personally witnessed the centre’s operation and even responded to a call from Kasoa who requested for water supply, the Vice President noted the information from the centre is key to government’s COVID-19 decisions.
“The information being gathered here is key to Government’s decisions on the approach to dealing with the Covid 19 crisis.,”
“The work that is being done here is collecting a lot of information that will allow government to be able to track, test and treat people and I think that it is a key weapon in the fight against Covid 19.”
The Vice President said government’s measures against the Coronavirus are yielding encouraging results, and he expressed optimisim that Ghana will overcome the virus.
“Nobody should take Covid 19 lightly,” Dr. Bawumia cautioned.
“President Akufo-Addo has put in a lot of measures to tackle the pandemic, and these measures have resulted in an outcome that is reasonable for Ghana” said the Vice President.
“As at yesterday, out of 50719 tested, almost 99% was negative. Only about 1% positive, 641. This is because we are chasing the virus; we are not waiting like some other countries for the virus to come, for people to get sick and get to the hospitals. Ghana is doing something different. We are chasing the virus into the community, to trace, test people and treat them. Very different architecture that we are implementing in Ghana.
“If we hadn’t done this, all these people would have been going round infecting other people. I think the President’s focus on testing, tracing and treatment have yielded very good results. 1% of people tested are infected, but by the grace of God, 94 % of this 1% have only mild or no symptoms. We have only 2 people who are critically and 8 people have died, who had underlying conditions already.
The Vice President also urged Ghanaians to continue to adhere strictly to all the preventive measures to help combat the virus.
“So God has been good to us, but we have to continue implementing all the guidance that we are doing right now. No large gatherings. We wash our hands, we don’t shake hands, we continue all the social distancing measures. I can see that everyone here is wearing a mask, which is very good.”