Ghana’s Parliament on Wednesday threw the searchlight on the coronavirus outbreak in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan last December, calling for adequate surveillance, logistics and resources to prevent the spread of the disease to Ghana.
There is a suspected case of the disease in neighbouring La Cote d’Ivoire, and Ethiopia another African country; and Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane, an MP for Nabdam and Member of Parliament’s Committee on Health, in statement, called on the Government of Ghana to evaluate its preparedness to tackle the disease should it hit Ghana.
The statement, titled: “Coronavirus infection of Humans in China and Its Potential Implications for Ghana” bemoaned the little knowledge on the disease, even in China, and suggested a release of monies from the Contingency Fund to intensify public education on the infection, in addition to beefing up health facilities to cater for the disease should it come to Ghana.
Despite its deadly nature, researchers have not established specific risks and modes of how easily it spreads between people.
In a contribution, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, MP for Ledzokuku, assured the nation that there was no cause for alarm as the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research says it had the capacity to isolate coronavirus cases.
He called for adequate preventive and cleanliness measures like cleaning of hands before touching surfaces, use of methylated spirit, and hand sanitizers among others.
Dr Sebastian Ngmenenso Sandaare, MP Dafiaman Busie Issa, said the outbreak of the infection had implications for the nation’s health system, economy and issues of women and children, and asked, “are we really prepared for this disease?”
He commended the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health for activating the nation’s health alert system.
Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu, commended the screening mechanisms at the Kotoka International Airport and said similar screening arrangements should be made at the nation’s border points.
Describing the infection as an emergency, the Kumbungu MP suggested a vote from the Contingency Fund to take care of the disease and urged the Government of Ghana to consider evacuating Ghanaian students from China as other nations are doing.
He suggested that fans of the consumption of game products reconsidered such consumption as the disease is said to be coming from contact with animals.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu suggested that Ghanaians should be advised to avoid non-essential travels to areas affected, and suggested the Minister of Health to be invited to apprise the House on the disease.
Deputy Majority Leader Sarah Adjoa Safo asked: “what are we doing as a nation to get an overlap from neighboring La Cote d’Ivoire?”
He urged MPs around the various border towns to liaise with their Assemblies to organise a lot of education on the disease.