COVID-19: Lockdown Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions - Bureau of Public Safety

The Bureau of Public Safety(BPS) has called on government to lockdown the Greater Accra region and Ashanti region for at least 21 days.

The Bureau made the call in a statement released on March 22, 2020. This comes after they independently assessed the fears, facts and available figures relevant to COVID-19 in Ghana and they are fully convinced that despite all measures in place to avoid lateral or community spread, public safety is at stake.

According to the statement, their investigations prove that Ghana is unprepared because "the health system lacks the capacity to contain a mass outbreak in the event of occurrence."

The Bureau commended the government on the measures that have been put in place so far to contain the situation, however, they expressed concern as the current confirmed cases with over 100 contacts may also have contacted others.

“With the list of traceable contacts increasing by the day in their hundreds, the task of tracing and effectively monitoring contacts may become overwhelming as confirmed cases increase by the day.”

BPS also called for the lockdown of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The statement however, emphasised that government can exempt essential services from this lockdown.

Ghana has recorded 24 cases of the novel coronavirus with one death but none recovered.

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In a plea to the government, the Bureau also asked that we “draw from lessons from countries such as China and Italy which have been hard hit by the pandemic and timely actions of Rwanda which has fewer cases yet has taken that bold decision to lockdown.”

As countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom are providing social support such as money to their people, the Bureau recommended that the government could do same for low income earners who may be hit hard by the lockdown.

“We further recommend that Government immediately works out a social support package for population groups that may be hard hit by these measures.”

How important is a lockdown in such situations?
The statement revealed that the lockdown will have a tow on the economy immediately however they are looking at the bigger picture.

“While these actions will definitely have a negative impact on the economy in the immediate to short term, our country and its citizens stand to benefit in the medium to long term as we collectively work to break the chain of COVID-19 infections,” it said.