President Nana Akufo-Addo has praised three Ghanaian students who invented devices which make handwashing easier amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed five people in Ghana out of the two hundred and fourteen confirmed cases so far with three full recoveries.
In his fifth national address on the virus on Sunday, the President said: “I am equally impressed with the invention of a solar-powered handwashing sink by Jude Osei from Kumasi, and the ‘COVID-19 prevention electronic bucket’ made by Kelvin Owusu Dapaah and Richard Boateng, both students of Obuasi Senior High and Technical School”.
“Necessity, indeed, is the mother of invention, as the Ghanaian sense of enterprise and innovation are beginning to be felt”.
Meanwhile, the President has also said the government is liaising with the private sector to produce personal protective equipment locally to properly equip health workers who are at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
The President said: “It is vital that we protect the lives of our frontline health workers, who are risking their lives every day to battle this virus”, adding: “That is why the government is placing a high priority on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for them”.
“Thus far, three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) masks, five hundred and fifty-eight thousand, six hundred and fifty (558,650) examination gloves, one thousand (1,000) reusable goggles, twenty thousand (20,000) cover-alls, seven thousand (7,000) N-95 respirators, five hundred (500) waterproof gumboots, two thousand (2,000) reusable face shields, two thousand (2,000) gallons of hand sanitisers, ten thousand (10,000) 100ml pieces of hand sanitisers, and five hundred (500) shoe covers have been sent to the regional health directorates, for onward distribution to the district health directorates for use by our health workers in all the districts.
“The Minister of Health is ensuring that they reach the health workers. This, notwithstanding, the government is aware that more needs to be done, especially in the face of the global shortage of PPE.
“It is for this reason that the government is actively engaged with local manufacturing companies to assist them in the domestic production of PPE., and I am encouraged by the response from the Ghanaian private sector. Domestic production of face masks, head covers, surgical scrubs and gowns will commence from Tuesday.
“For example, three million, six hundred thousand face masks will be produced domestically, with an output of one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) per day”, he said.
The President also said: “An insurance package, with an assured sum of three hundred and fifty thousand cedis (GHS350,000) for each health personnel and allied professional at the forefront of the fight, has been put in place, with a daily allowance of one hundred and fifty cedis (GHS150) being paid to contact tracers. Government has also decided that all health workers will not pay taxes on their emoluments for the next three months, i.e. April, May and June. Furthermore, all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of fifty percent (50%) of their basic salary per month, i.e. for March, April, May and June. The March allowance will be paid alongside that of April. The Ministry of Transport is also making available, for free, ‘Aayalolo’ buses to convey health workers in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa to and from work, along specific routes, for the entire duration of the restrictions”.