Ghana runs to IMF for funds to fight Covid-19

Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana's Finance Minister
Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana's Finance Minister

Ghana has made an urgent request to the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to access a credit facility to help fight the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) disease.

The Bretton Woods institution on Tuesday confirmed receipt of the request and said it is evaluating it for a final decision.

IMF’s African Department director Abebe Aemro Selassie said: “Last week, the IMF received Ghana’s request for a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility to help the country address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are working hard to evaluate the authorities’ request and bring it forward for Executive Board consideration as soon as possible.”

$100 million to fight coronavirus

The West African country is planning to spend $100 million to contain the spread of the deadly pandemic which has grounded some economies worldwide.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he has directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance Ghana’s Coronavirus preparedness and response plan.

This amount, according to President Akufo-Addo, “is to fund expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education.”

Delivering an address to the nation on Wednesday, 11th March, 2020, the President 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.

President Akufo-Addo extended his appreciation to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and friends of Ghana for the assistance they have, so far, provided, and for the pledges made in support of Ghana’s fight against the virus.

“We shall continue to work with them to defeat the spread of the virus. I am confident that, together, with all hands on deck, we will be successful in weathering this storm,” he added.

52 cases so far

Ghana has confirmed 52 Covid-19 cases, according to the Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, he said health officials are working around the clock to save the situation.

Two deaths have been confirmed out of the 52.

The latest cases were recorded from tests conducted from people who arrived in Ghana on Sunday and were mandatorily quarantined by the government.

According to the Health Minister, 1,030 people were quarantined after they arrived in the country on Sunday and Monday.

Samples were taken from 611 people and out of 185 of the samples tested 25 tested positive for COVID-19. More tests are still being carried out.

A total number of 1,030 travelers have been quarantined in Ghana, the National Security revealed on Tuesday.

An official of the national security O.B Dickson at a press conference said a psychologist has also been employed to counsel all those in quarantine at the various isolation centers in the capital.

Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo announced in an address to the nation that all borders – air, land and sea – will be closed to human traffic from Sunday midnight in a bid to contain the Covid-19 disease.

“This closure will not apply to goods, supplies and cargo,” he said in the address.

He said anybody who arrives in the country within the next two weeks will undergo “mandatory quarantine” and tested for the coronavirus.

According to Immigration officials, 21 persons have been arrested on the Elubo border for attempting to enter Ghana illegally.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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