Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, organisations from both the public and private sector, as well as individuals have been supporting government with the fight against the virus through donations and other initiatives.
While government established the National COVID-19 Trust Fund to cushion businesses and support the needy in the wake of the pandemic, some Ghanaian business executives set up the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund to construct a treatment centre to augment existing hospitals in the fight against the virus.
Managers of the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund with the help of the Ghana Armed Forces commenced construction of the 100-bed Infectious, Isolation and Treatment Centre on April 17, 2020 with a projection to be completed in 6 weeks.
As of June 23, work on the 100-bed Infectious Disease, Isolation and Treatment Centre at the Ga East Municipal Hospital had reached its final phase with almost 10 percent of the work left to be done.
At the time of ABC News’ visit to the facility, the completed parts of the facility were being painted and finishing touches were also being made at some parts of the building.
Taking a tour at the facility with the Project Manager of the COVID-19 100-bed Infectious Disease, Isolation and Treatment Centre, Lt Col A.B. Tekyi said the work is progressing steadily.
With a total workforce of about 350 staff; major being the military, Col Tekyi noted that they have never taken a breather due to the urgency of the project.
According to him, they have been working 24 hours a day running on a 12-hour shift system, where 250 staff work in the day and 150 work at night.
Explaining why the facility is being rushed, Col Tekyi said “You will see that most of the work ongoing is actually geared at finishing the project on time and this is because of the need to finish as soon as possible. Because of the need and urgency that is required, we are trying to leave no stone unturned and try and get this facility completed as soon as we can.”
The 100-bed infectious facility has a 21-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a reception with automatic sliding doors, wards with 6-bed and 10-bed units depending on the severity of the infected patients with all needed facilities like washrooms, monitoring rooms for frontline workers both the ICU and the main wards, control stations.
Moreover, the ICU has also been segregated into segments of single beds, that is one isolated units, and a 6-bed, 8-bed and 10-bed units depending on how critical the patient is.
Also, the facility has a level 2.5 scalable to a level 3 biomedical laboratory, ultra-violet radiation treatment of air entering and exiting the facility to ensure no contaminated air exits the building and total insulation of the centre for energy efficiency since the facility will be required to be climatically controlled throughout its use, among others.
Col Tekyi further disclosed that the 100-bed Infectious Disease, Isolation and Treatment Centre would be commissioned next week as works are far advanced.
However, the construction of the 50-bed infectious and treatment centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is still ongoing with little developments made.
Earlier, it was reported that the facility had been abandoned due to lack of funds but ABC News upon reaching there to inspect the site realised some works were still taking place although not major.
Reacting to reports on the stalled projects, the Head of Public Relations at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mustapha Salifu debunked the assertion.
Asked why the contractors were not at the site, he explained the placed needed to be cleared before they continue with the project.
“We projected that we were going to do it in a relatively short period of time but there’s some time overruns but we are still projecting that within the next couple of weeks, we’ll bring the civil and uncivil works to completion.”
“We want to assure that the work has not stalled, contractor has not left site. They want to clear the place so that they can have adequate space to manoeuvre and then complete the work for us.”
According to him, the project would be completed in the next four to five weeks.
Watch the report on the progress of the two facilities below