About 6.2 million pieces of face masks have been produced locally as part of government’s initiative to revamp local industries through the COVID-19 fight.
The local production was expected to increase to 14.6 million by the end of next month for distribution to the beneficiaries including frontline health workers, students and the general public.
THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan John Kyerematen made these known at the COVID-19 press briefing in Accra yesterday.
He added that 90,000 hospital gowns, 90,000 headcovers and 60,000 medical scrubs had also been sewn to safeguard the frontline health workers from the disease.
According to Mr Kyerematen 58 local companies including Dignity DTRT, Sleek Garments, Cadling Fashions and Alfie Designs Limited, were producing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his fifth televised address announced that local production of PPEs would begin on, April 7 to help prevent further spread of the virus.
This was after several health workers in the country complained of inadequate supply of PPEs to the various hospitals coupled with a global shortage of some protective gears.
According to the trade minister, the companies which had been divided into three -tiers based on their capacity used 1.240 million yards of fabrics manufactured locally by three local fabrics companies to sew the PPEs.
Following reports from the Ghana Health Service that more COVID-19 cases were being recorded at institutions including factories, mines, and media houses, Mr Kyerematen called for enhanced measures to stop the spread of the virus.
For factories and industrial companies, he said they should provide buses to transport their employees to and fro work, while the use of gloves and masks and shift system should be prioritised.
He urged all business owners to fumigate their premises, provide hand hygiene materials, adopt virtual work and form a taskforce to ensure that all protocols were complied with.
Mr Kyerematen said the government was doing its part to reduce the spread of the virus and that companies and individuals had to complement these efforts by taking personal responsibility of their safety.
“Industries and factories with more than 29 employees must dedicate one room within the factory premise as a holding room to immediately house or quarantine anyone who is suspected to be showing symptoms and signs of COVID-19 while making arrangement for evacuation” he said.
It is recalled that last month, 533 positive cases, which represented about 11.3 per cent of the country’s total infections of 4,700, then, were recorded at Pioneer Food Cannery, a fish processing company.
Earlier, there was a spike in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, especially in mining companies. The media has not been spared as Multimedia Group Limited had recently recorded five cases.
By Jonathan Donkor / Ghanaian Times