The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has defended the government’s decision to lift the partial lockdown imposed on the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area including Tema and Kasoa as well as the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area.
He said the decision was based on Ghana’s COVID-19 infection rate data and the advice of health experts.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, he said although there were options such as a total lockdown of the country, the imposition was lifted following data collected over the past three weeks.
“If you look at our infection rate as has been gathered after 3 weeks of data, the composite infection rate is about 1.5% but the epidemiologists we are working with breaks it a bit further. That 1.5% if you break it down, you will notice that those from mandatory quarantine are about 5.6%. Those from general surveillance, about 2.7%, but those in the enhanced tracing which comes close to what your real representation is, is about 1.09%, and that is your early infection rate,” he said.
He told Bernard Avle on the show that other restrictions such as the ban on the public gatherings are still in force to ensure that the fight against COVID-19 is won.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah also added that the government among other things is focusing on the preventive etiquettes of COVID-19.
“You can lock down the whole country, or do a partial lockdown, the question now becomes how long will you do that and how sustainable is it. You can also restrict movements on public gatherings and public activities. What the president has done after listening to the infectious diseases experts and epidemiologists is to say let us maintain all our preventive etiquettes,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo in a televised broadcast on Sunday, April 19, 2020 lifted the partial lockdown on some parts of the country which was necessitated by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to the President, the ease of restrictions was in view of the country’s ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons among others.
President Akufo-Addo in his address however, indicated that other restrictions such as the one on public gatherings are still in place.
He urged Ghanaians to wear face masks everywhere they go and strictly adhere to the various COVID-19 prevention protocols including handwashing and social distancing.
Citi News’ tour around some of the areas affected by the lockdown showed the return to normal business with vehicular traffic building up in most places.
In some commercial vehicles are markets, it was observed that social distancing was not being observed as commuters and traders went about their work with little care or caution.
Already, some experts have challenged the government’s decision to lift the lockdown. They believe that the move is dangerous and could spark a new wave of infection of COVID-19.
Ghana’s COVID-19 case count cross 1,000 mark
Ghana’s Coronavirus cases have increased to 1,042. President Akufo-Addo who made the announcement in his national address said;
“Since the first two (2) cases of infections were recorded on our shores, we have, till date, traced some eighty-six thousand (86,000) contacts, out of which we have test results of sixty-eight thousand, five hundred and ninety-one (68,591) contacts. There is, thus, a backlog of some eighteen thousand (18,000) tests whose results are yet to be received.”