The Savannah Development Policy Think Tank (SDTT) has commended the Government on its decision to retool the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide.
The disease has infected 5,408 people in the country with 24 deaths, however, the number of recoveries had climbed to 514 by Thursday, May 14, according to the Ghana Health Service.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a televised address to the nation on Sunday, enumerated several measures government was taking to combat the virus spread.
He said the NCCE would be given 10,000 locally manufactured face masks and other Personal Protection Equipment with some cash to carry out public education on the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday described the decision as a “giant initiative” as it reinforced the NCCE’s capacity as a constitutionally mandated body to discharge its duties well.
“This positive move…this giant initiative to resource the NCCE will not only strengthen its operations but indeed something quite welcoming to all and sundry as the NCCE will effectively be in a position to stem the tide of the spread of the COVID in the country,” it quoted Mr Abu Kasangabata, the SDTT Executive Director, as saying.
The statement urged the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to expedite action on releasing the needed funds to enable the NCCE to do its work immediately.
It commended front line staff in the fight against COVID-19, especially doctors, nurses and security personnel and applauded the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for arresting illegal immigrants in the country in recent times.
“This singular act on their part must be commended because while the Government is making every effort to contain the situation, these illegal immigrants from elsewhere were attempting to frustrate the efforts,” it said. The statement, however, cautioned that “With these modest achievements all must not rest on their oars but remain resolute and undaunted since the task ahead is quite herculean.”
In another development, the SDTT has urged the Government and other stakeholders to take steps to prevent fertilizer smuggling associated with the beginning of the farming season.
“One worrying aspect would be the smuggling of fertilizer with its attendant problems, especially in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country,” the statement said.
“Savannah Development Policy Think Tank would want to note with worry, the activities of smuggling of fertilizer and other agricultural inputs along the borders of the country,” it said.
“This has the recipe for spreading the COVID-19 given the porous nature of our borders with neighbouring countries.”
The statement called on the Government and the security forces to be vigilant on smugglers and their activities to prevent the influx of foreigners into the country.