Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister for Information, has called on the public to stop selling hand sanitizers at exorbitant prices saying ‘this is not the time for profit-making’.
He said protecting one’s self against the coronavirus is both in the individual and national interest, hence the need for sanitizers to be made available to all.
It has been noted that hand sanitizers which were sold between GHC 4 to 10 are now been sold between GHC 10 to 30 due to high demand.
The Information Minister said this in Accra on Monday when he met the leadership of the media and other stakeholders to agree on basic things to be done to advance knowledge and ensure that accurate and timely information on COVID-19 is shared among the public.
The stakeholder’s strategic meeting was attended by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
Other attendants include the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspapers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG).
The meeting discussed how medical and media professionals can work together to support public education efforts on COVID-19 and curb misinformation.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said the Ministry together with stakeholders would create a database of resource persons to ensure that messages on COVID-19 are standardized to spread calm and not fear.
He said government would engage celebrities and make them public information ambassadors as part of the information-sharing process.
Dr Dacosta Aboagye, Director of Health Promotion Unit at the GHS, said the Service has produced adequate materials needed to educate the public in all the 16 regions adding that health promotion officers would move into communities to educate the people by the end of this week.
He said the coronavirus is not airborne and that information management is very crucial and the media must observe the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) protocol on reporting on the virus.
Dr Rolland Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), for his part stressed that the GJA sees COVID-19 as a national issue and the Association is willing to help to contain it.
“This is the time to contribute to national efforts; this is the time for journalists to adhere to journalism principles and ethics; and now is the time to fight together,” he said.
Ms Pertertual Ofori Ampofo, President of the GRNMA, said the leadership of her association are ever ready and willing to help identify, contain and manage the coronavirus.
According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO), coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause various illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MARS).
Symptoms of coronavirus include; fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing which could be fatal.
The disease is spread through coughing and sneezing; close personal and unprotected touching or contact with an infected person.
Presently, various treatment options are being explored, there is no cure, treatment is mainly symptomatic, there is no vaccine and prevention is mainly by adherence to cough and sneezing etiquettes, regular hand wash with soap under running water and improved personal hygiene.