“It may be that you have come to the country at such a time like this. We are lucky, as a country, to have you as President at such a time as this. Your quote has been the quote of the year 2020, that you can bring the economy back to life but you cannot bring human beings back to life. Very prophetic and very insightful. Mr. President, we congratulate you on these.”
These were the words of the Chairperson of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Sriboe II, on Tuesday, 21st April, 2020, when the Council of State, at the invitation of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, held discussions with the President on the measures being taken by Government to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Congratulating the President on “the very able manner in which you have handled the crisis that has beset this country with the advent of COVID-19”, the Council of State Chairperson added that “your regular broadcasts have really brought a lot of encouragement to the country, and, as if by design or accident, the cloth that you have been wearing has been depicting the mood of the country at that time.”
Expressing the delight of the Council of State at the establishment of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, Nana Otuo Sriboe II suggested the decentralization of the collection of funds, “so that somebody in an outlandish part of the country can also contribute perhaps through the DCE or the MCE so that his name too will be in the annals of those who came up to support the nation in times of crisis.”
With the Council of State having made a donation of 300,000 examination gloves, a sizeable quantity of surgical masks, and other equipment, the Council of State Chair commended the efforts being made by the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, and all other frontline actors in the struggle.
“I think the fact of the members of the Council of State adorning face masks is an indication that face masks have become a part of the regime of the combat against the virus. We have to accept that this will also mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 and as much as we appreciate the integrity and the good intentions of the trustees of the COVID trust fund, we may make a small suggestion in effect if we could go out there to have the facemask sewn in millions so that every Ghanaian will have the privilege of donning a face mask,” he said.
Nana Otuo Sriboe II continued, “They will be for free, but others may take it and put in a token gesture of some amount as their part of the effort to prevent COVID. I think this will be a better substitute than giving food which may not be going to the intended destination and even negates the principles of social distancing, because if you have face masks and you get closer, distributing the face masks will go a long way to fight the spread.”