Decision to lift partial lockdown based on data and experts’ advice – Information Minister
Minister for Information - Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has defended government’s decision to lift the partial lockdown imposed on the Greater Accra including Tema and Kasoa as well as the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas.
According to him, the decision was based on Ghana’s COVID-19 infection rate data and the advice of health experts.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, April 20, 2020, he said although there were options such as a total lockdown of the country, the imposition was lifted following data collected over the past three weeks.
“If you look at our infection rate as has been gathered after 3 weeks of data, the composite infection rate is about 1.5% but the epidemiologists we are working with breaks it a bit further. That 1.5% if you break it down, you will notice that those from mandatory quarantine are about 5.6%. Those from general surveillance, about 2.7%, but those in the enhanced tracing which comes close to what your real representation is, is about 1.09%, and that is your early infection rate,” he said.
Adding that, other restrictions such as the ban on public gatherings are still in force to ensure that the fight against COVID-19 is won.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah also added that the government among other things is focusing on the preventive etiquettes of the virus.
“You can lock down the whole country, or do a partial lockdown, the question now becomes how long will do you do that and how sustainable is it. You can also restrict movements on public gatherings and public activities. What the president has done after listening to the infectious diseases experts and epidemiologists is to say let us maintain all our preventive etiquettes,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo in a televised broadcast on Sunday evening, April 19, 2020, lifted the partial lockdown on some parts of the country which was necessitated by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to the President, the ease of restrictions was because of the country’s ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons among others.
President Akufo-Addo in his address, however, indicated that other restrictions such as ones on public gatherings are still in place.
Also, encouraged Ghanaians to wear nose masks everywhere they go and strictly adhere to the various COVID-19 prevention protocols including handwashing and social distancing.
Earlier, some experts challenged the government’s decision to lift the lockdown as they believe the move is dangerous and could spark new infections of COVID-19.
Ghana’s COVID-19 case count
Ghana’s Coronavirus confirmed cases have increased to 1,042.
President Akufo-Addo, who announced in his address said;
“Since the first two (2) cases of infections were recorded on our shores, we have, till date, traced some eighty-six thousand (86,000) contacts, out of which we have test results of sixty-eight thousand, five hundred and ninety-one (68,591) contacts. There is, thus, a backlog of some eighteen thousand (18,000) tests whose results are yet to be received.”