Countries in the West Africa sub region have been urged to refrain from copying blindly the practices being adopted by other countries in the covid-19 fight and instead find specific responses that suits their country.
“I think it’s very, very important that we tailor a specific Ghanaian, African response to the handling of this pandemic, and not necessarily copy blindly the methods that are being adopted by countries to the north of us and elsewhere,” the President said Thursday, April 23, when he joined colleague West African Heads of State for a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the Coronavirus pandemic.
Commending President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who is the ECOWAS Chairperson, for calling the Summit, President Akufo-Addo told the Assembly that the Ghanaian response to the Coronavirus pandemic is based on four principles.
These include, firstly, the Ghana approach, which is mobilising the social forces of the country, i.e. religious, scientific, academic, political and civil society, to deal with the threat of the pandemic.
“Secondly, that we are led and informed by the science and our data that we are able to assemble. We are also learning from the experience of governments of countries that are further down the road in responding to the pandemic. Then, finally, we think that it is an opportunity for us to continue to push with our Ghana Beyond Aid agenda,” he added.
To this end, President Akufo-Addo stated that the first decision taken by Ghana was to “try to limit and stop the importation of the virus”, since Ghana had discovered that “virtually all the cases we had in Ghana came from travelers who were coming into Ghana”.
Tracing and testing
To contain the virus, the President told the gathering that there has been an aggressive process of tracing and testing, with over 85,000 Ghanaians having been tested for the virus.
“So far, over 85,000 Ghanaians have been tested. We are looking to test as much as 100,000. This has enabled us to get a hang of the geographic footprint of the virus, of identifying the epicentres of our country, and also better understanding the dynamics of the virus, while we are treating and isolating infected cases,” he added.
In trying to stop community spread, President Akufo-Addo indicated that public gatherings have been banned, including the closure of churches and mosques and modalities put in place for the holding of funerals.
Towards finding a vaccine for the virus, the President stated that “we want to get to the point where we can have an African vaccine to deal with the problem because the mutation of the virus is different, so we need to have our own way of dealing with it.”
Sharing strongly the views of Ivorian President, His Excellency Alasanne Ouattara, in the continuous pursuit of a regional agenda, the Ghanaian President stated that “I am also happy to hear that the Convergence Council is going to meet very soon to see where we are in terms of the developments that have taken place, and the impact that they have on our goals of monetary union.”