Lockdown Does Not Mean Total Shutdown - Dr. Omane Boamah
Former Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah
The former Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, has called on Government to consider implementing a lockdown to prevent horizontal spread of the Coronavirus.
He made this plea in a letter addressed to the President after some organisations such as Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) advocated for a lockdown.
The letter also stated that though Ghana has a young population, we have a weak health system hence we would not be able to handle the situation if it escalates.
"Yes, Ghana's population is young; but we have weaker health systems that cannot sustain a full blown intracommunity outbreak. Assuming 200 people (God forbid) need ventilators at the same time for respiratory support in Ghana; do we have enough anaesthetists and logistics to cover them while at the same time ensuring we have enough to take care of other medical and surgical emergencies?"
Dr. Boamah stated that the government is trailing on combating the virus and he hopes government listens this time.
"I think your Government is lagging behind in its response to COVID-19. You have waited for the vertical transmission to translate into horizontal transmission. Let us not wait any longer! I pray and hope your Government will listen in good faith and act urgently."
However, he clarified that lockdown does not mean total shutdown of the country. Activities that do not require a crowd can go on provided the safety precautions are followed.
Initially, Dr. Boamah wrote an article titled "Crowded Planet" in which he suggested ten things we can do during the coronavirus pandemic.
Why does Ghana need to lockdown?
Ghana has weak and overcrowded settlements and transport services.
Looking at the majority of people who live in shanty towns and people who pick public transport, the probability of the novel virus spreading quickly is high especially now that it is confirmed to be airborne.
Also, Ghana has a large number of people who are susceptible to the virus -people with diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary diseases such as Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis among others- hence our country will be terribly affected if COVID-19 gets out of hands.