Council of State urges distribution of free face masks to public

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The Council of State has called on government to ramp up the production of face masks and make them available to the public.

Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Serebour, who made the request during a meeting with President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House Tuesday said, the move is necessary in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

“The fact that all Council of State members are donning face masks is an indication that the wearing of face masks have become part of the regime of prevention. We have to accept that this would also mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

“As much as we appreciate the integrity and the good intentions of the trustees of the Covid-19 Trust Fund, if we could suggest having the face masks sewn in millions so that every Ghanaian could have the benefit of the face mask and wear it,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo has already admonished Ghanaians to wear face masks, during his seventh address to the nation on efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the country.

“I want to encourage you to wear a mask wherever you go, as it will help you not to contract the virus, and keep it clean.

“If you own a business, or are providing a service, i.e. a barber, a hairdresser, a tailor, a taxi driver, a trotro driver and his ‘mate’, a shop keeper, a food seller, please do well to use a mask.”

Nana Otuo Serebour wants government to distribute the masks to Ghanaians for free but said, room should be made for those who can afford to pay to give “a token gesture of some amount as their contribution towards the fight against Covid-19.

“This will stem the spread and be a better substitute than giving food which do not get to the destination their intended and whose distribution negates the principles of social distancing,” he added.

He also praised President Akufo-Addo for the manner in which he has handled the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

He described the President’s famous comment “we know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life” as prophetic and insightful adding, “we are lucky to have you at such a time.”

Nana Otuo Serebour also recommended decentralising the collection of contributions for the Covid-19 Fund.

He said many people across the country are eager to contribute but not all of them can journey to Accra, suggesting that perhaps, District Chief Executives should be allowed to receive the contributions on behalf of government.

President Akufo-Addo on his part, agreed with the Council of State on the mass production of the masks saying the Ghana Health Service will soon come out with guidelines and standards for which they should be produced.

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