Government will consider 3 factors to extend or call-off lockdown - Oppong Nkrumah
Information Minister - Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Ghana’s Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has outlined certain factors the government will consider in the coming days to either extend or call-off the lockdown.
According to Oppong Nkrumah, under no circumstance will decision by the President in this period not be in the collective interest of Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo last week after due assessment of the two weeks lockdown declared in Kumasi, Accra, Tema and Kasoa aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 amongst the citizenry extended it by another 7 days.
“The decision has been taken through the issuance of another executive instrument to extend the restriction of movements 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 the 13th of April, subject to review,” the President said.
The President said the new cases were detected as a result of the ongoing enhanced contact tracing and testing exercise.
He pointed out that over 10,000 test results are expected in the coming days which will enable the government to decide on the way forward.
“We should be able to test some additional 10000 samples in the coming week to gives us a clearer picture to enable us to take a decision on the way forward.”
In outlining some factors that will inform the government’s next line of action in a radio interview, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the first will be the number of positive cases recorded from the enhanced surveillance among other factors.
“One, how much of your case count is coming from the enhanced surveillance which gives you a fair idea of how far you are going ahead, it will not tell you exactly whether you are ahead but how far, through the enhanced surveillance you are finding asymptomatic which suggest early days of exposure and they are becoming the majority and it will give you an indication that you have moved beyond people with symptoms.”
“Two, positive cases outside your hot spot, so Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi where you have sought to contain, how many positive cases are you getting outside these hotspots which positive cases can be reasonably traced to having exited the hot spot during this period because this data will inform the theory whether indeed,” the minister noted
Also, Mr Nkrumah added that:
“The socio-economic of the lockdown, the calls that are coming you will see an increasing number of calls about food and perhaps even less about PPEs it gives you a certain idea about the socio-economic of the lockdown.”
Meanwhile, the Minister yesterday explained why confirmed coronavirus cases in Ghana keep increasing quickly by the day.
According to Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ghana is as a result of enhanced tracing and testing efforts by the government.
In his view, it is a move by the government in consultation with health authorities to be ahead, rather than chasing after the virus.
The Minister pointed out that other measures such as the mandatory quarantine systems have helped to detect hidden COVID-19 cases in the country.