President Nana Akufo-Addo will later today, Friday, April 3, 2020, meet the leadership of all political parties in the country to deliberate on the best measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo has in the past held discussions with members of the clergy, market women and transport operators to find ways of tackling the pandemic in the country.
Today’s meeting will, therefore, afford the President an opportunity to also explain some critical decisions taken by the government to stem the spread.
In the President’s last address on Friday, March 27, 2020, when he announced the partial lockdown of parts of Accra and Kumasi, he also called for a collectivised approach as Ghana finds a lasting solution in these hard times, warning against the ‘politicking and display of partisanship’ in the country’s COVID-19 fight.
“Fellow Ghanaians, I am urging all of you to bear with these additional measures. They are being done in the interest of all of us. They are, hopefully, only for a short while. These additional measures, together with those earlier announced, are what will help us defeat the virus. And, we must be united in our determination and efforts to overcome this challenge. This, certainly, is not the time for politicking or the display of partisanship. The virus does not care which party you belong to, neither is it, as we have seen, a respecter of persons. The enemy is the virus and not each other,” he admonished.
Already, over a million people across the globe have tested positive to the virus with about 51,000 dying as a result.
The US accounts for most cases; with Italy having the highest death toll.
The disease, COVID-19, first emerged in central China four months ago.
In Ghana, 204 positive cases and five deaths have been recorded as of Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Three others have recovered.
The number of regions affected by COVID-19 in Ghana is five with the Greater Accra region recording the most cases while the Eastern and Upper West regions have the least, with 1 case each.
Ghana confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020.
NDC calls for urgent nationwide mass testing
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) COVID-19 team is asking the government to as a matter of urgency, conduct nationwide mass testing to curb the further spread of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
According to the team, “the risk of outward spread has been exacerbated by the unintended consequences of the lead time, and it is essential to curtail that threat in its infancy”.
The NDC COVID-19 team in a statement noted that because the government gave enough time before enforcing the lockdown, it seems to “have allowed for mass evacuation of economic migrants from the hotspots, among who may be infected persons including asymptomatic carriers. The risk of spread outside the lockdown perimeters, therefore, is concerning”.
“We recommend, as a matter of urgency, the review of the testing strategy under consideration from one focused on contact tracing within the lockdown perimeters to a nationwide mass testing approach,” the team indicated in a statement.
Furthermore, the team is also asking that the government quarantines “recent arrivals in the hinterland” and ensure the “progressive health education of returnees, their families and their communities” as they progress on the mass testing.