President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained that the decision to lift the partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa was taken after a careful consideration of a number of factors.
According to him, the country’s current capacity “to trace victims of this disease, being able to test, being able to isolate and quarantine those people so that we take them out of the population, and, of course, the treatment”, are some of the factors that led to the decision to lift the partial lockdown.
“We are also looking at the demography of the disease itself, in terms of the sick, in terms of death. What we will like to do, as decision makers, is to balance all these factors and to come to a conclusion and a set of solutions that will benefit our people and, of course, protect the economy of our country. All of these have been the basket of issues that have led us to take this decision,” he stated at a meeting with the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).
Held at Jubilee House today, the meeting was to explain the rationale behind the lifting of the lockdown, and deliberate on how the government and the GMA can continue to work together.
“The common consensus has recognised that we have undertaken the most pre-emptive testing on the continent in relative terms. That has given us a very large pool of information as to how the disease is unfolding in our country. I think our capacity to be able to continue to do that is very critical for our ability to deal with this virus,” President Akufo-Addo added.
He noted that had the government not taken the decision to aggressively go out and test infected people and their contacts, “we would not have the figures that we are getting today and, yet, we would have had those very same people within the population.”
The President said the testing of nearly 70,000 contacts, whose results are known, “continue to give us the demography, the infection rate, the death rate, and the numbers of people who are affected and are moderately ill. All of those things are remaining quite consistent in the data that we have received.”
Impact of lockdown
“I cannot ignore the impact that this lockdown is having on several constituencies of our nation, especially the informal workers, a very important part of our economy, who need to have a day out in the market or otherwise in order to provide for their families, who were having a lot of difficulty,” he said.
The President expressed the appreciation of the nation for the important role all health workers are playing to combat the disease.
“You are at the very centre of this battle – doctors and the association of doctors in our country. You are very, very central to whatever steps we will take to take this country forward.
“I thought it was important to meet immediately after the decision that we took last night to ease the restrictions of movements in our two greatest cities-Accra and Kumasi, and to get a bit of a flavour of how we are looking to go about this,” he added.
On behalf of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Frank Ankobea, the president of the Association, thanked the President for the invitation, saying “all we need to do is to pledge our support to Government that we will continue with you, and we will continue to fight until this virus is eliminated from Ghana.”