Government, in collaboration with Zoomlion, has launched an exercise in Accra to disinfect both public and private universities as they prepare to open for final-year students as directed by the president.
The exercise, which is the first phase of disinfecting all educational institutions including basic schools, aims at making the institutions’ environment safe for use amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools have been closed for the past two months since the lockdown period, until last week when President Akufo-Addo directed in his 10th address to the nation that they can open for final-year students to complete their semesters and terms.
Speaking at the disinfection exercise launch at the University of Ghana, Vice Chancellor Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu noted that the initiative is timely, adding that following the president’s recent directive to open schools, management was initially worried about how safe the environment would be.
“It has not been easy for us from the very first day that the president announced final-year students should come to campus on the 15th of June. One of our biggest headaches was how to disinfect the place so students can have a serene environment to settle in when they arrive on campus. We were still putting our heads to this issue when this (initiative) came.”
Prof. Oduro Owusu expressed gratitude to government and Zoomlion for the exercise, and urged that it be done effectively to achieve the intended purpose.
Zoomlion’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Florence Larbi, indicated that the exercise is aimed at disinfecting to rid all surfaces within the educational system of bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing vectors using disinfectants that are chlorine-based (containing sodium hydrochloride) and recommended by the WHO.
“The management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited has decided to prioritise saving lives before any other business considerations, and that is why we have initiated 50 percent of our disinfection services for public, private and religious organisations,” she said, assuring that her outfit will deliver its mandate satisfactorily.
Education Minister Dr. Mattew Opoku Prempeh, who launched the exercise, urged the students and general public to continue observing all directives to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
“The disinfection is not the end of it all. What is even more important is the safety protocols – the social distancing, wearing of face masks among others,” he said.