Former President John Dramani Mahama (JDM), has suggested to the government a couple of measures which he believes if put in place, would help in combating the global pandemic COVID-19 in the country.
According to him, an Immediate expansion of the 37 Military Hospital by doubling the current bed size and also build an Infectious Disease Centre to cater for the southern sector would help in managing diseases like Ebola and COVID-19.
Below is the 13-Suggestions…
1. Immediate development of a National Infectious Diseases Response plan that clearly sets out the specific steps that must be taken to prevent the entry of such diseases, quickly arrest them even if they do enter our shores at the very early stage to reduce its impacts on the bearest form on our population.
2. Establish another medical research centre with capacity like the Noguchi Medical Research Institue in the northern part of Ghana.
3. Immediate expansion of the 37 Military Hospital by doubling the current bed size and also build an Infectious Disease Centre to cater for the southern sector to help with the management of diseases like Ebola and COVID-19.
4. A second and fully-equipped National Infectious Disease Centre should be built in the Middle and the Northern sectors of the country.
5. Government must expand the testing centres to include the Navorongo and Kimtampo Research Centres ensuring that Noguchi or the KCCR supports to test more people in good time.”
6. Government should also consider moving the deadline for businesses to submit SSNIT and Tax returns a little period back due to the many factors affecting businesses including depletion of manpower and difficulties with modalities in payments”
7. Proper trickling down economics to alleviate the plight of Ghanaians direct distribution of food and buffer stock must help to distribute food to the most deprived households in the most deprived communities and we must consider expanding LEAP to cover many more poor households.”
8. Government must negotiate with Telcos a possible reduction in tariffs so that we can pass on that to many people who are working from home or are having to be home. This can be done with an assurance of free extension of their licenses for six months some of which I’m informed is to expire soon.”
9. Vitamin fruits and food supplements should also be distributed to the poor and vulnerable.
10. Government must through the Ministry of Health target the people with Cancer, Diabetes, Asthma, pregnant women and extend support to the hospitals will have data on these people.
11. Reduce indirect taxes and Zero rate tax on essential such as sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, toilet rolls and possibly food for a while.
12. Government must provide insurance to frontline health workers who are engaged in the fight against COVID-19.
13. The need for partnership in ECOWAS and AU and consensual efforts to manage our borders and movement of people and also leverage on food production capabilities such as rice, grain and other such products.