The Bank of Ghana has directed all financial institutions operating in the country to take adequate steps to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
Ghana has already recorded six cases of the disease which has killed over 6,000 people out of nearly 170,000 cases globally.
All six of Ghana’s cases have been described as imported since the individuals in question had traveled to either Europe or the USA over the past two weeks.
The central bank in a statement, has asked all the institutions to ensure that all banking halls, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), counting machines and other relevant equipment are sanitised on a regular basis.
In addition, financial institutions are to make sure their staff and customers comply with the social distancing practice, as well as ensure that critical and frontline staff are provided with protective equipment and gears such as gloves, face masks among others.
“The Bank of Ghana has been following the news and developments of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has the life threatening nature and rapid transmission of this disease been felt globally, its significant impact on the global economy is also being felt, especially in advance economies. Central banks in these jurisdictions, have taken measures to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic,” the statement said.
The regulator said it would continue to assess the possible impact of the pandemic on the domestic economy and it was taking the necessary steps to mitigate its impact, to ensure financial and economic stability.
The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, is thus scheduled to meet from Wednesday, 18th March, 2020 to Friday, 20th March, 2020.
“The committee’s assessment of the situation and interventions shall be communicated accordingly on Monday, 23rd March, 2020. In the interim however, all banks, savings and loans companies, finance houses, microfinance institutions, rural and community banks and foreign exchange bureaux, are directed to activate their business continuity and disaster recovery plans proportionate to the current circumstance, and to review these plans as the situation changes,” it said.
“They’re also to abide by the public notices and advisory issued by the government of Ghana, the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other relevant authorities, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure that all electronic channels are fully functional at all times, and ATMs do not run out of cash,” the statement said.
The bank also advised the general public to strongly refrain from panic withdrawals, and banks and specialised deposit-taking institutions, shall remain open to offer services to customers.
BY TIMES REPORTER