“We Have Fumigated All Stadia Across The Country” – Sports Minister Reveals
Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah has revealed in line with measures of reducing the spread of the coronavirus among football lovers, the National Sports Authority (NSA) in collaboration with Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has undertaken a nationwide fumigation exercise in all stadia across the country.
According to the Sports Minister, the move forms part of measures put in place by the Ministry in ensuring that stadia across the country are safe before allowing footballers and followers to access them.
Addressing Journalists in Accra on Wednesday, Mr. Isaac Asiamah said “the National Sports Authority (NSA) in collaboration with Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has undertaken a nationwide fumigation exercise in all stadia across the country. Offices, spectating sitting areas, VIP lounge among other areas have been fumigated”
He added that a general covid-19 protocol will be applied to it's 10 Youth Leadership Training Centres under the National Youth Authority (NYA) similar to those adopted for schools under the Ghana Education Service/Ministry of Education.
The Sports Minister also hinted that his Ministry has introduced general protocols which will be guiding non-contact sports adding that organizers are to ensure the directives are observed.
“Checking temperatures of participants before entering training premises, as necessary. Always enforce mandatory wearing of masks (No mas; no entry policy) and hand washing facilities with running water and soap/approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be made available” he noted.
Mr. Asiamah further added that there will be a regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently used communal places such as bathroom and toilet surfaces evey 1-2 hours depending on rate of utilization.
Touching on enforcement, the Minister said “The National Sports Authority (NSA) in collaboration with Ghana Health Service officials will take enforcement responsibilities. This means there will be regulatory bodies for the different sectors and where necessary assisted by the state security services will be engaged to ensure monitoring”
Speaking on monitoring and evaluation, Mr. Asiamah hinted that Government will continue to monitor and evaluate key indicators to establish the transmission levels of the virus.
He said “The approach will include benchmarking and rapid learning to inform decision making and tactical adaptations to the overall strategy and hotspot specifics”
Highlighting on the contingency arrangements, the Sports Minister explained that should there be an unexpected outburst in infections within the sports facility or unit, Government has put health workers and the security services, including the Police Service and Armed Forces on standby to co-ordinate a rapid response on persons.
He said “If necessary, we will cordon, impose curfew, trace, test and treat infected persons in the affected community”
He praised the general public on their patience and understanding and support in navigating through the turbulent period.
The Sports Minister used the occasion to explain to Ghanaians that the Ministry does not owe the Former Black Stars Coach, James Kwesi Appiah adding that he(Coach) was given a 2 years contract to handle the Black Stars of which he was paid in full.
He said “We have nothing against him. We gave him full support. We paid his two years contract. We are only left with the extension of which we will settle soon”
Mr. Asiamah mentioned that Athletics, Chess, Golf, Gym, Polo, Shooting, Scrabble, Swimming, Watersports, Tennis, Cricket, Cycling, Baseball and softball among a few sports that will be allowed to train.
In other development, President of Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kurt Okraku called for calm adding that measures are being put in place to ensure the league bounces back.
He added that the GFA in talks to ensure that the players are in good shape before they are allowed to play like that of the foreign league.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith