The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health has called for an immediate partial lockdown of major towns in the Eastern Region to prevent and curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the region.
Their call follows the recent increase in the number of cases recorded in the Region. 41 COVID-19 cases have so far been recorded in the Eastern Region.
The Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfour in an interview with Citi News indicated that the Regional Security Council was yet to decide on a possible lockdown of the region.
Addressing the press in Koforidua on Tuesday, April 14, the Regional Chairman of Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Emmanuel Kwafo Mintah said it has become prudent for major towns in the Region where cases have been recorded to partially lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We advocate for the partial lockdown of major towns in the Eastern Region, provision of adequate PPE to all hospitals and clinics in the region and training conducted for the health workers, education and sensitization should be intensified in the communities and we entreat the region to immediately equip an isolation centre for the region so that we prevent the spread of the pandemic.”
The coalition further called on the government to intensify public education in the Region to put a stop to the stigmatization of persons infected with COVID-19.
“High stigmatization against the COVID-19 and health workers is very high in most communities. As a result of that people will shy away from testing for the virus even if they have come into contact with persons who have tested positive. So we entreat government to intensify education and sensitization in the communities so that people will understand what exactly it is about and not make fun of people who have it.”
As of April 14, 2020, the country has recorded a total of 636 COVID-19 cases with 17 recoveries and 8 deaths.
The Greater Accra Region has the most cases with 452; the Ashanti Region, 49; Eastern Region, 32; Northern Region, 10; Volta Region, 9; Upper West Region, 7; Upper East Region, 4; North East Region, 1; Western Region, 1 and the Central Region with 1 case.
Ten regions out of the sixteen regions in the country have recorded COVID-19 cases so far.
Other areas in the country on lockdown
With the COVID-19 cases rising to 152, the president on March 27, 2020 announced a partial two weeks lockdown in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Kasoa with restrictions being imposed on the movement of persons except for essential services.
During this period, there was panic buying of food items and a mad rush for LPG which a hike in prices of food items for some period.
There was an extension of the two weeks partial lockdown by one more week after it had elapsed to further curtail the spread of the virus.
“So, the decision has been taken, through the issuance of an Executive Instrument, to extend the restrictions on movement in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kasoa and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and its contiguous districts by one more week, beginning 1:am on Monday, 13th April, subject to review,” the president said in his sixth televised address to the nation.
Ghana has joined South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, among others, in Africa to have announced some restrictions of movement to curb the spread of the virus.