Akandoh: Government’s attitude towards coronavirus is relaxed

Accra, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member of the Health Committee of Parliament, is holding the Government of Ghana to task in its management of the corona virus scare, saying it needed to do more.

He cited an instance that a lot more should have been done by way of education and sensitization since the scare of the disease emerged.

On Thursday, Mr Akandoh, a day after President Nana Akufo-Addo had delivered a message on the pandemic, at a press conference at the Parliament House, Osu-Accra, said gaps still remain in the nation’s readiness to deal with the disease.

President Akufo-Addo had said he has directed the Finance Minister to release the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance Ghana’s Corona virus preparedness and response plan.

President Akufo-Addo said the money would to fund expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment and public education.

Ghana this week confirmed two corona virus cases in the country, being a Norwegian and Ghanaian coming from Norway and Turkey respectively.

But Mr Akandoh said information about the two infected persons was scanty.

Mr Akandoh, who is also the MP for Juaboso Constituency, told the press conference: “From day one, we have always said government’s attitude towards coronavirus has been lackadaisical. After the announcement was made, a lot of questions have been raised.

“I have been given many examples that our preparedness is very porous.”

However, the request from Mr Akandoh, who might also be called the Shadow Minister of Health, for the President come forth with the source of funds for the $100 million he announced and what specific uses the money would be put has been responded to by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.

Mr Nkrumah said the fund was sourced from the Consolidated Fund and other donor partners.

“The money is coming from a combination of the central government of Ghana resource allocation from the Consolidated Funds and some donor support from some of our donor partners,” Mr Nkrumah said.

Mr Akandoh emphasised transparency as the only way to ensure proper tracking of the disbursement, arguing that that previous promises to dedicate GH¢2.5 million and later GH¢35 million did not materialize until the recent announcement by the President.

The Ranking Member also described government’s preparation towards fighting COVID-19 as very porous, arguing that although the Government has touted its preparedness to curb the pandemic, it was not enough.

He reiterated that sensitization of Ghanaians on the dangers of the virus and precautionary measures needed to be enhanced.

“And up to this time, we cannot boast of a single means of communicating to the masses or sensitizing the people about this virus. For the past two months we’ve been sitting on this and nothing of this nature has been done,” Mr Akandoh said.

Source: Ghana News Agency