President Nana Akufo-Addo has warned government will not hesitate to cordon off or impose curfew on any community that may record what he termed unexpected outburst of new coronavirus infections in the country.
The lifting the three-week old partial lockdown imposed on parts of the country, he said, does not mean Ghana is out of the woods yet, indicating that the government will not let its guard down in the fight against the deadly virus.
Although the number of infections has risen to over a thousand, the President said it now has a grip on the rapid spread of the virus, hence the withdrawal of the lockdown which saw movement restricted in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi.
With the current aggressive tracing and testing approach, the President admitted that new cases or infections will definitely be recorded.
Nana Akufo-Addo said adequate and appropriate measures have been put in place by government to isolate and treat such persons as and when they test positive for the virus which has killed nine people in Ghana.
However, the President said “should there be an unexpected outburst in infections within the community, I’ve put the health workers and the security services, including the Police Service and the Armed Forces on standby, to coordinate a rapid response of human and logistical resources if necessary, to cordon, impose a curfew, trace, test and treat infected persons in the affected community”.
In order to avoid such situation, Nana Akufo-Addo has advised the people of Ghana to ensure they stay at home and only move out when it is necessary.
“Stay at home unless it is absolutely essential,” he said in his televised address Sunday night to brief Ghanaians on the country’s efforts to combat the coronavirus which currently has no cure.
Everyone should wear face mask
Meanwhile, the President is also encouraging the wearing of nose masks by all as part of precautionary measures to help them avoid contracting the virus.
“If you own a business, or are providing a service, i.e. a barber, a hairdresser, a tailor, a taxi driver, a trotro driver and his ‘mate’, a shop keeper, a food seller, please do well to use a mask,” he advised.
The Ministry of Health, he said, will in the coming days issue guidelines on face masks for public use.
Nana Akuof-Addo is also entreating religious, traditional, opion and community leaders to partner with government in engaging, mobilizing and enforcing social distancing and personal hygiene in their communities.
Ghana’s cases crosses 1,000
Of the 68,591 samples tested so far, 1042 representing 1.5% have are confirmed positive, while the remaining 67,549, representing 98.5% tested negative for the virus.
Additionally, 99 persons have recovered and have been discharged, with 930 persons, who have been isolated responding to treatment either in their homes or in treatment facilities.
The increase in number of cases in the last three weeks has been attributed to government’s aggressive tracing and testing of contacts of infected persons.
“…the modest successes chalked at containing the spread of the virus in Accra and Kumasi, and the severe impact on the poor and vulnerable, I have taken the decision to lift the three-week-old restriction on movements in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kasoa, and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and its contiguous districts, with effect from 1 am on Monday, 20th April,” Nana Akufo-Addo explained.
The ban on social gatherings is to remain in full force. That is public gatherings of more than 25 people is banned.
Also, schools across the country are also to remain closed, but Nana Akufo-Addo said “businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate” while observing staff management and workplace protocols with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols.
Operators of commercial vehicles will continue to run but they must do so with minimum number of passengers.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana