One of Ghana’s oldest ferries, the MV Yapei Queen, built in 1970 and stationed at Dambai in the Oti Region has for the first time been disinfected as part of a national disinfection exercise against COVID 19.
The vessel which was last renovated in 1995 and had until January 2, 2020 been stationed at Akosombo was disinfected on Saturday when a team of sprayers sprinkled chlorine solution in some 58 market centres and other public places within the region.
In all, about 260 personnel were deployed by the Ministry of Local Government of Rural Development in partnership with Zoomlion waste management company to disinfect six district assemblies and two municipalities of the newly created region.
During the exercise, the regional minister, Nana Kwasi Owusu Yeboa who was in Dambai as part of his regional inspection tour urged all persons coming to the region from lockdown areas to self quarantine for at least two weeks.
“Then families should inform the medical authorities in order for them to have some form of screening to establish whether someone has been contaminated or not” he said.
He disclosed that four facilities have been designated to cater for the COVID-19 pandemic. “There is one at Kete Karachi hospital, one at Worawora hospital, another at St.Marys, Papase and the last one at Nkwanta”.
Despite not recording any case of the virus, he called for vigilance on the part of stakeholders in order to curb the spread of the virus within the region.
The Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources who is also the Member of Parliament for Karachi East, Michael Gyato encouraged the people of the region who are mostly farmers to adhere to social distancing protocols by spending most of their time on their farms in order to stay safe and remain productive.
The captain of MV Yapei Queen, Captain Jonathan Sey who was excited about the disinfection exercise disclosed that the COVID 19 pandemic has negatively affected the patronage of the ferry which could previously carry between 300 to 500 persons.
“Before, we could have about 1000 to 1500 persons per day. But as at now(10am) we have had less than 300 people” he said.
The ferry, he mentioned was however unable to halt operations due its strategic position as it links the regional capital to other places in the north.
By Issah Mohammed