Nose mask wearing, social distancing are compulsory – Health Minister

Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu
Minister of Health, Kweku Agyeman Manu

Social distancing impedes productivity at the workplace but it is critical for containing COVID-19, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, said on Tuesday.

He emphasised that nose mask-wearing and social distancing are compulsory.

“We need to adhere to the advice we are given on COVID-19 – wash your hands,” he said, adding; “SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will stay with us indefinitely; therefore, we must strictly adhere to the preventive protocols to remain safe.”

The Health Minister, who was speaking at a press briefing on the latest coronavirus management situation in Ghana, said: “We should make up our minds that our way of life is going to change for a very long time.”

Ghana’s COVID-19 case tally spiked to 2,719 on Monday with 294 recoveries and 18 fatalities, according to the Ghana Health Service.

“Stay at home if you don’t have any essential business to do in town to avoid the spread of COVID-19,” Mr Agyemang-Manu warned, saying; ”If we don’t stay home, we will continue to spread the disease.”

He said the idea of “I don’t have money to buy face mask” should not be an excuse for anybody not to wear a mask and that; “Wearing of face masks in public will continue to be our way of life to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

“Do not take off the mask when you are talking, do not use a cloth mask for more than 12 hours.”

He cautioned the public to be careful with doorknobs, which should be sanitised once somebody touched it.

“It is not by individual choice to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols, it is in our collective interest.”

“If you are not sick, stay at home, if you don’t have anything important to do outside, stay at home.”

The Minister entreated the public to stop turning away personnel doing contact tracing in the COVID-19 exercise.

Dr Dacosta Aboagye, the Director of Health Promotion, Ghana Health Service, warned that it was dangerous to try facemasks on when buying them.

He advised that people visiting the premises of media houses must wear a mask and “media practitioners must wear face masks both in their offices and on the field.”

The Food and Drugs Authority said it had registered over 41 manufacturers of face masks and urged producers to use only cotton or breathable fabrics to make three-layer masks.

As Ghana continues to battle the spread of the coronavirus, about 54 children are reported to have died from Malaria during the period, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, the Director-General of Ghana Health Service, said.

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