Government has started distributing locally produced Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to frontline workers in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
This came to light when Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia visited a number of local companies including Digital DTRT Apparel, Sleek Garments, Cadling Fashions and Bulluk Apparel (manufacturers of the Nallem Clothing) in Accra who are manufacturing the PPEs.
The visit was to afford him the opportunity to know at first hand the efforts they have been putting in so far.
Dr Bawumia was overwhelmed by the level of commitment and speed with which they are producing the PPEs.
He therefore commended the local companies.
After the inspection, the Vice President said he was impressed by the exhibition of Ghanaian ingenuity by the companies in response to a directive by President Akufo-Addo for the production of PPEs locally.
He was particularly delighted by the fact that the companies which hitherto were producing for export quickly shifted form to produce PPEs to save lives locally.
The Vice President was of the conviction that in the next few months, Ghana would not be importing PPEs and thanked all providing goods and services in the fight against the coronavirus.
In the last five days, the local companies contracted by the ministries of Health and Trade to manufacture PPEs have produced 250,000 face masks, 18,000 surgical gowns and 11,000 medical/hospital scrubs for distribution to frontline workers in the fight against the virus including health and security personnel across the country.
Another company is said to be producing disposable PPEs for use.
Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen who accompanied the Vice President said the government is creating the opportunity for local companies to manufacture for the Ministry of Health.
“The quality of the product is very high because the fabric used are local fabric and specially produced by Volta Star Limited and it is taken through a process called mesterisation by both Akosombo Textile Limited and GTP”, he told journalists, insisting “this has made it a very high quality fabric suitable for the production of the PPE and meets international standards.
The Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority have certified the type of fabric and the production. The standards would not be sacrificed.”
He added that “very soon Ghana would be exporting PPEs to some African countries and the developed world.”
As a nation, he insisted “we need to understand that this pandemic is going to create a major disruption in global supply chain” and that “you can no longer just focus on bringing in every conceivable item from outside the country.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent