Some institutions have suspended planned and routine events in the midst of the confirmation of two COVID –19 cases in the country.
They have also begun putting measures in place to protect their members and the public from contracting the deadly disease that has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Some of the institutions include the Ghana Education Services (GES), the Ghana Armed forces, some universities among others.
Schools in Ghana have been ordered to suspend all public activities by the GES.
“All schools are to suspend all public activities such as speech and prize-giving days until further directives are given by the Director-General,” the Ghana Education Service announced, Friday.
A statement from the GES said education materials on the coronavirus developed in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have been deployed to all schools across the country.
“Regional and District Education Directors are to ensure that heads of schools make the materials readily available to staff and students. Educational Directors are also expected to liaise with their respective Regional and District Health Directors to ensure smooth education campaign in the schools,” the statement directed.
Also, all schools have been asked to intensify education on hand washing with soap under running water.
“In the light of this, all schools are to be supported to provide ‘veronica buckets’ and ‘Tippy Taps’ and soaps made available to ensure that children wash their hands frequently,” another statement jointly issued by the GES and the Ghana Health Service directed.
A toll free number, 199, has been introduced for schools to immediately report suspected cases for standby health teams to respond and take immediate action.
It assured the general public measures being put in place to ensure that “our pupils, students and staff are informed and well protected from the disease”.
Ghana Armed forces
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has cancelled of its annual Open Day event in Accra and the Achiase Jungle Warfare school.
A press release signed by the Director for Public Relations, Colonel E. Aggrey-Quashie, on the Accra cancelation stressed that it was prudent to call off the event “due to current operational exigencies”.
Confirming the cancelation of the Achiase Jungle Warfare School to the Daily Statesman, Chairman of the District Security Council (DISEC) and District Chief Executive for Achiase, Richmond Agyaben Amponsah, said the cancellation was as result of directives from the military high command.
“We are not happy about the cancellation. But the health of the people is paramount. We cannot play with it. And we also need to respect authority” Mr. Amponsah told the Daily Statesman in an exclusive interview.
Authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have also announced an indefinite suspension of all mass gathering activities.
The suspended activities include funerals, sporting activities, awards nights, dinners, hall weeks and other outdoor events as well as all planned academic and non-academic excursions in and outside the University campus.
All International conferences to be hosted by the University, international travels of staff incoming and outgoing exchange programmes plus international visits of foreign partners, Professors and collaborators including tours on campus by visitors have also been put on hold.
Staff, together with their spouses and students returning from abroad, have been directed to report first at the University Hospital for screening before resuming official work.
These were contained in a statement issued by the management of the University as part of measures to strengthen preventive guidelines.
All Members of the University community have been encouraged to practice good personal hygiene -regular washing of hands with soap under running water, regular use of hand sanitizers and also avoid all body contacts including handshakes and hugs.
“A special team has been established to regularly monitor the implementation of precautionary measures and update management. The University Health Directorate will lead the Special team in the COVID-19 sensitisation and awareness campaign. The University Hospital has established a COVID-19 Isolation Centre to hold suspected persons for screening. Confirmed cases will be transferred to the Regional Isolation Centre set-up by the Regional Health Directorate for care,” the statement added.
University of Ghana
The University of Ghana has also suspended all public gatherings. In a press statement, management of the school said its actions were to help limit large internal events as much as possible which would help control the spread of the virus.
However, gatherings including students and their faculties may take place if some measures the management put in place are implemented.
“The University is procuring sensor-assisted alcohol-based hand sanitizers which will be installed at all halls of residence, academic facilities and administrative units. Veronica buckets are to be installed at all University-approved markets.”
“Service providers such as food vendors, hairdressers, barbers etc., who provide services to members of the community are also to enhance their hygienic practices. The University will provide continuous education,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the United Nation (UN) agencies in Ghana have also shut down their offices and asked workers to stay home. The Norwegian Embassy in Ghana has also closed its offices after one of its staff tested positive for the Coronavirus. There has been calls for the Ghana football Association to suspend the ongoing Ghana Premier League.