The General Manager in Charge of the Health Services Department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi, has revealed that no staff of Ghana’s Ports and Harbours Authority has died from COVID-19 related complications in spite of they being at the front line service who even worked during the nationwide restrictions on movements of persons and receiving visitors from all over the world engaged in international trade.
Assessing the Growing Numbers of COVID-19 vis-à-vis Port Business, on the Eye on Port program, the Head of Health Services Department of Ghana’s Port Authority attributed the positive news to God’s grace manifesting in the committed efforts of the Port Authority to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the port community.
Dr. Anaab-Bisi praised the Authority’s Management for being prudent in their dealings with the COVID-19, citing their readiness to make the necessary investments very early in 2020 despite a tight budget.
“The Authority did not relent, even though they did not have budget for it. They gave us all that we asked for,” he emphasized.
He said the efforts by GPHA went a long way to not only provide the sufficient personal protective equipment for staff and health personnel, but also provided adequate sensitization of the port community to brace themselves in the wake of the pandemic.
The General Manager of Health Services Department of GPHA said the Port Authority also has been very apt in its policy direction with respect to activities in and around the port environment to ensure that the ports and its constituents remain safe.
“The seaports never shut down the entire period of last year and has been opened to business. Sea men were not allowed to come out of their vessels. If they are not sick, they remained on their vessels while the goods were discharged,” he cited.
He said the Authority, in strong collaboration with key stakeholders in the port community such as the Port Health Unit of the Ghana Health Service has been very cautious in its interactions with vessels’ crew doing business at the country’s ports and have been extremely complaint with protocols during crew changes at the port.
Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi said that in the event of infected persons within the port community, effective case management, contact tracing and treatment were applied to ensure that the virus is confined and more importantly lives are not lost.
He disclosed that the GPHA Clinic in Tema since the advent of the coronavirus has taken 3,599 samples with 597 confirmed positive cases representing 18% of the tests conducted.
He also revealed that GPHA will in the month of February 2021 begin testing for COVID-19 at its health facilities as an effort to bolster the Authority’s available resources in gate keeping of the country’s ports against the importation and spread of the virus.