Pressure mounts on the government to lock down Ghana Featured

By Nana Yaw Dwamena March 26, 2020 227 1 comment

Groups and individuals are mounting increasing pressure on the government to lock down the country to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

The Trades Union Congress, Ghana Medical Association and Bureau of Public Safety are among institutions which have issued statements explaining why they think the country should be locked down.

However, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has told reporters that there are many options available to the government, only one of which is sealing off the country.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Minister said the request for a lockdown is not a decision to be taken lightly.

He nonetheless stressed that even if the need to lock down Ghana arises, that will be decided by the President and the COVID-19 emergency response team, which meets the President daily and advises him on the best options in the light of developments.

“At this point in time, there is no decision to lock down,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said. “All options remain on the table. The President has indicated that if at any time he has to escalate his measures, he will do it.”

Necessary evil

Describing a lockdown as a necessary evil, the general secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Justice Yankson, issued a statement yesterday calling on the President “to declare a nationwide lockdown with the exception of essential services with immediate effect”.

Tthe GMA leader argued that this has become necessary because of a “disturbing trend of community spread” and the “obvious inadequate capacity” of Ghana’s health system to deal with increased rates of COVID-19 infection, especially in the severe to critical cases.

“The lockdown, though not a comfortable decision for leadership and citizens alike, is a proven option backed by science and along with the other measures will ultimately be in our best interest,” the GMA statement read.

Tthe GMA leaders urged all Ghanaians to support a lockdown, should it be imposed by the President.

More aggressive measures

A statement by the Trades Union Congress signed by its general secretary, Yaw Baah, called on the government to adopt “more aggressive measures” to prevent further spread of the virus.

“Mr President, the risk of spread of the virus in Ghana remains high. We need more aggressive measures to protect the people from this deadly virus, including a lockdown, if that is what is needed to protect the people,” Dr Baah urged.

While commending the government for the measures put in place to combat the virus, he appealed to officials to equip frontline health officials with the necessary tools.

Accra and Kumasi

In the view of the Bureau of Public Safety, there is a need for “immediate discriminated lockdown” of the Greater Accra and the Ashanti Regions.

“With the list of traceable contacts increasing by the day in their hundreds, the task of tracing and effectively monitoring contacts may become overwhelming as confirmed cases increase by the day,” a statement from the group said.

To cushion Ghanaians in those regions which could be affected by a lockdown, the Bureau further recommended that the government “immediately works out a social support package for population groups that may be hard hit by these measures”.

“While these actions will definitely have a negative impact on the economy in the immediate to short term, our country and its citizens stand to benefit in the medium to long term as we collectively work to break the chain of COVID-19 infections,” it said.

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Last modified on Saturday, 28 March 2020 03:39

1 comment

  • suba suba
    Comment Link suba suba Thursday, 26 March 2020 22:40

    Nfy9cS Very nice info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thanks

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