Banks in the country are deploying safety measures to check against the spread of the novel Coronavirus after two cases were confirmed in Ghana on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Messages sent out to customers by the banks urged their clients to remain calm as they collaborate with relevant health authorities to ensure their safety.
With currency notes found to be one of the conduits for the spread of the COVID-19, Stanbic Bank in a message advised its customers to ensure they have less contact with banknotes while admonishing the use of digital channels.
According to Ecobank, “It is collaborating with key health agencies on COVID-19 to ensure your safety while you do business with us”.
The National Investment Bank (NIB) also told its clients like many other companies that it is taking the necessary steps to ensure their safety.
We’ve assessed potential economic impact of coronavirus on Ghana – Oppong Nkrumah
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says Ghana’s Economic Management Team and the Finance Ministry, has carried out adequate assessment of the economic impact of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
He says the assessment has selected areas of advantage that can be explored by the country to locally produce some basic things needed to fight the virus.
Globally, the disease has had a huge economic impact, as some flights have been halted, while some countries have restricted entry especially from countries considered as the epicenter of the disease.
Several high profile business events have been cancelled, leading to the loss of millions of dollars. The global restrictions also mean that in some countries, production has reduced as working hours have been reviewed drastically to contain the spread of the disease.
In China, the source of the disease, manufacturing has slowed down significantly, affecting its trading partners. Already, Ghanaian traders who rely on Chinese impacts are feeling the impact of the reduced activities in that country.
Confirmation of COVID-19
The Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu on Thursday announced confirmed the country’s first two cases of coronavirus involving a Norwegian national at the Norway Embassy in Ghana, and a Ghanaian who traveled into the country from Turkey.
He made this known at an emergency press briefing by the Information Ministry on Thursday night, March 12, 2020.
The two cases according to the Health Minister, tested positive after laboratory tests from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research.
$100m allocated for coronavirus fight – Nana Addo
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, 11th March 2020, the President Akufo-Addo said he has directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of US$100 million to enhance Ghana’s Coronavirus preparedness and response plan.
This amount, according to President Akufo-Addo, “is to fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education”.
He further explained that with the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the Coronavirus disease as a pandemic, it is important that Ghana steps up her preparedness to ensure that beyond the initial measures that have been put in place, a ‘whole of Ghana’ approach is adopted in preparation for a possible hit within the country’s borders.
Coronavirus statistics so far
Nearly 4,000 people have died globally, with China the source of the virus, and Italy being the most affected. Over 100,000 cases have been recorded in over 120 countries.
In Africa, there have been very few cases, with Egypt leading with 67 cases, followed by Algeria with 24. South Africa has 13 cases, Morocco six, Tunisia 7, Senegal 4, Burkina Faso 2, Nigeria 2, Togo 1, DR Congo 1, Cameroon 2, Gabon 1, and Cote D’Ivoire 1.
Ghana is the latest in Africa to record a case. Meanwhile there have been only three deaths so far in Africa, with one each recorded in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria respectively.