Stakeholders discuss Covid-19 control measures

The Ministry of Information on Monday organised stakeholder engagements as part of measures to contain the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

 It was under the auspices of the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and brought together executives of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), the Ghana Pharmaceutical Society (GPS), the GJA, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the Private Newspaper Publishing Association of Ghana (PRINPAG).

The engagement was aimed at fashioning out modalities to ensure effective dissemination of information on the management of the outbreak in the country.

Opening the dialogue, Mr Nkrumah reiterated the fact that the country was not in ordinary times as such would require that citizens complied with directives that would be provided by government.

He said the multi-stakeholder coalition was to act as a layer for information management on issues of the outbreak and help Ghanaians comply with all the necessary safety measures.

The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney on his part cautioned the media to be circumspect in their reporting concerning the outbreak of Covid-19.

According to him the outbreak of the Covid-19 in the country should be seen as a national agenda which required the effort of all Ghanaians to bring it under control.

“The Covid-19 agenda is a national course which requires that we subordinate our interest to the supreme national interest which at this moment is to conquer Covid-19,” he emphasised.

He explained that even though media houses might have their different commercial interests, independent interest and independent agenda, “it is important that we recognise that the national interest was paramount”.

“Let us fall on our code of ethics and remember that this is not the time for being the first to break the news. We must follow the necessary protocols so we don’t create unnecessary fear and panic,” he said.

He pledged the support of the GJA in ensuring that the information trickled down to all corners of the country.

The President of the GMA, Dr Justice Yankson said his outfit had committed itself to be at the forefront in the management of the outbreak in the country.

He said it was a call to duty and all members had committed themselves to the national course, adding that, “Beyond that the population must get the right information to reduce the fear and panic.”

Dr Yankson noted that one major challenge that could hamper the country’s management of the outbreak would be misinformation as a result, the GMA would be on the standby to provide the right resource persons to help in the education drive.

In terms of their preparedness, he said the necessary firstline preparation had effectively been put in place, adding that, “Our hospitals already have infectious disease committees but they will now focus on the Covid-19.”

Dr Yankson appealed for calm and assured that the necessary steps were being put in place to ensure that the situation was managed to minimise its potential impact in the country.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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