23rd July 2024

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says although the issue of locking down the country is one of the ways to contain the threatening coronavirus, the circumstances and conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian must be taken into account.

“The majority of people who will be affected by decisions of that nature are the working people of our country – the ordinary people of Ghana. They are the ones who will be most affected, and it is important for us, when we are taking these decisions, to take into account their circumstances and conditions,” the President said when he met leadership of the Trades Union Congress(TUC) at Jubilee House yesterday.

“You are going to lockdown Accra, what are the consequences? When you lock down the country, what are the consequences?” he asked.

According to the President, as a responsible government, what is required of him and his functionaries is to consider all the implications before taking any decision.

“And I am hoping that much sooner than later, we will come to an agreement within government on what those measures are, and then the Ghanaian people will be informed,” President Akufo-Addo said.

TUC stance

The TUC, in a release issued on Wednesday, had called on the government to adopt what it described as “more aggressive measures” to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, adding that the government should consider a total lockdown, if necessary.

“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 Yaw Baah, TUC’s General Secretary, stated in the release.

Constant review

Whilst acknowledging the expression of support from TUC, President Akufo-Addo said the various measures put in place by the government have one aim: to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible.

“All of these measures have one aim, as much as possible to limit the spread of this disease in our communities; find a way of containing it and, hopefully, suppressing it so that we can get on with the normal social and economic life of our country,” he said.

He added: “We are under constant review. We are looking at measures we have taken and constantly reviewing them and make sure we are abreast of the issue and provide an effective antidote.”

According to the President, measures taken by government, including borders’ closure, ban on international travels as well as subjecting people who arrived in the country to mandatory quarantine and testing have so far proved effective.

“At the end of the day, the decision to ban international travel as well as to take the measures of quarantine and testing are being vindicated by facts. It tells us that the overwhelming number of cases of the confirmed cases of infections that we have are all from people who came from abroad,” he said.

More to be done

The President said although focusing on the importation of the virus and the infection has proved to be absolutely spot on, the government will still put in place more measures.

“We have to constantly look at whatever additional measures are there that will put us in a strong place to deal with this menace, and that is what we are constantly doing,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo again told TUC’s leadership that their letter did not, in any way, come to him as a criticism or undermining the position of government.

“So, I took your letter in that spirit that recognises the efficacy of some of the measures that have already been laid out, and now we are looking at additional measures to make sure that we could contain this virus. I saw it as a helpful expression of support,” he said.

Opportunity

Reiterating his stance on the need for the country to be self-dependent, the President said although the pandemic has caused so much harm, it has offered an opportunity for Ghana to strengthen its production capacity.

“We have seen how dependent we are on foreign imports for our medicines. That should not be the case, but that is the reality after so many years of neglect. We are now finding our capacity to produce things for ourselves in this country,” he said.

Source: Daily Statesman

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