Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) and the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) have called for mass COVID-19 testing at industries and companies in Tema to identify and isolate asymptomatic patients.
This, they noted, would prevent the recurrence of mass infection in companies operating in the industrial cum harbour city.
The unions called for the mass testing in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after 533 out of 1,300 workers of a well-known international fish processing company located in the Tema Fishing harbour enclave tested positive to COVID-19.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a state address on Sunday night disclosed that “it is important to stress that 533 out of the 921 new cases recorded between last Wednesday and Thursday are factory workers from a fish processing factory located in Tema. All 533 persons were infected by one person”.
Mr Abraham Koomson, General Secretary of the GFL, said companies must urgently embark on such testing to avoid having a large number of their workers contracting the virus unknowingly.
Mr Koomson said the Ministry of Health must initiate such testing as most of the companies were not in a position logistically to carry out such a test.
He added that it was unfortunate that his outfit’s call for a total lockdown did not materialize adding that such a measure would have prevented such mass infections in one company.
The leadership of the TDCL on its part, said they were devastated to hear that 533 workers of the said company tested positive to the virus, indicating that mass testing in companies would help nib the spread in the bud.
Mr Ebenezer Kodwo-Taylor and Mr Emmanuel Addo-Kumi, Chairman and Secretary for the Tema District Council of Labour respectively, appealed to the government to conduct massive test in the industries in the Tema Metropolis and its environs.
They reminded companies within the hub to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols adding that the Ghana Employers Association must also ensure that their members followed the procedures.
“Again, Inspectorate Department of Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations must ensure that industries within the enclave follow the COVID-19 protocols to curtail the spread of the coronavirus”.
Mr Frank Asante, Public Relations Officer, Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), on his part, said the Metropolitan Chief Executive was engaging leadership of companies on the strict adherence on COVID-19 protocols in their premises.
Mr Asante also appealed to companies to review some of their employees’ time management system such as the clocking timers and finger print scanners which had the potential of spreading the virus quickly among staff.