President Akufo-Addo to meet with political parties today
President Nana Akufo-Addo will today, Friday, April 3, 2020, meet the leadership of all political parties in the country to deliberate on the best measures to adopt in containing the spread of the COVID-19 in Ghana.
In the past days, the President has had discussions with members of the clergy, market women and transport operators and other stakeholders to find means of dealing with the pandemic since it broke in the country.
Today’s meeting will, therefore, allow the President to also explain some critical decisions taken by the government to stem the spread.
Following the President’s last address on Friday, March 27, 2020, where he announced a partial lockdown of parts of Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, he also called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to finding a lasting solution in these hard times rather than politicizing and displaying of partisanship in the country’s COVID-19 fight.
“Fellow Ghanaians, I am urging all of you to bear with these additional measures. They are being done in the interest of all of us. They are, hopefully, only for a short while. These additional measures, together with those earlier announced, are what will help us defeat the virus. And, we must be united in our determination and efforts to overcome this challenge. This, certainly, is not the time for politicking or the display of partisanship. The virus does not care which party you belong to, neither is it, as we have seen, a respecter of persons. The enemy is the virus and not each other”, he admonished.
Already, over a million people across the globe have tested positive to the virus with about 51,000 deaths recorded already.
Currently, the United States of America has recorded the highest cases while Italy leads with the highest death toll.
Tests conducted so far
As of Wednesday, 1st April 2020, a total of 4,560 coronavirus tests had been conducted in the country.
According to the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie in his address said 4,225 tests were done at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra.
The remaining 335 tests were done in the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in the Ashanti Region.
In Ghana, 204 positive cases and five deaths have been recorded as of Thursday, April 2, 2020.
NDC calls for urgent nationwide mass testing
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) COVID-19 team is urging the government to as a matter of urgency, conduct nationwide mass testing to curb further spread of COVID-19 in the country.
According to the team, the risk of outward spread has been aggravated by the unintended consequences of the lead time, and it is essential to curtail that threat in its infancy stage.
The NDC COVID-19 team in a statement noted that because the government gave enough time before enforcing the lockdown, it seems to “have allowed for mass evacuation of economic migrants from the hotspots, among who may be infected persons including asymptomatic carriers. The risk of spread outside the lockdown perimeters, therefore, is concerning”.
“We recommend, as a matter of urgency, the review of the testing strategy under consideration from one focused on contact tracing within the lockdown perimeters to a nationwide mass testing approach,” the team indicated in a statement.
Furthermore, the team is also asking that the government quarantines “recent arrivals in the hinterland” and ensure the “progressive health education of returnees, their families and their communities” as they progress on the mass testing.