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General News of Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Source: GNA

Careful balance of factors informed lifting of partial lockdown - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo play videoPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Monday said a careful balance of factors informed the easing of the three-week restriction on movements of persons in Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa.

He said the medical initiatives adopted by the Government, coupled with the country's expanded capacity to trace, test, isolate and quarantine victims of the COVID-19, as well as the demographics of the disease, and the fatality rate, played a major part in the decision to lift the partial lockdown.

In an interaction with the Executive Committee of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) at the Jubilee House, Accra, the President said the situation at hand counterweighed many factors to arrive at a conclusion and a set of solutions that will benefit the people and protect the country's economy.

The meeting was to shed light on the rationale behind the lifting of the lockdown, and deliberate on how Government and the Association can continue to work together in the aftermath of the easing of the movement restrictions.

The President on Sunday, April 19, lifted the partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa to stem the spread of the COVID-19 in Ghana.

However, all other measures to contain the disease, including the ban on public gathering, religious and social activities, closure of borders, and observance of social and physical distancing and protocols on handwashing and hygiene are still in force.

Ghana's case count as at April 19, 2020, stood at 1,042, with 99 recoveries and nine deaths from a total testing sample of 68,591.

Expressing satisfaction with the level of tracing and testing, which had provided a very large pool of information as to how the disease is unfolding in the country, President Akufo-Addo was emphatic that the capacity to continue to do that was very critical to dealing with the virus in Ghana.

He noted that had Government not taken the decision to aggressively go out and test infected people and their contacts, “we would not have the figures that we are getting today and yet, we would have had those very same people within the population.”

President Akufo-Addo said it was through the results of the testing regime that had given a consistent robust data "that is inspiring our decision."

He stressed that as President, “I cannot ignore the impact that this lockdown is having on several constituencies of our nation, especially the informal workers, a very important part of our economy, who need to have a day out in the market or otherwise in order to provide for their families, who were having a lot of difficulties.”

The President lauded the role health workers are playing towards helping to combat the disease.

“You are the very centre of this battle – doctors and the Association of Doctors in our country. You are very, very central to whatever steps we will take to take this country forward," he told the GMA Executive.

Dr Frank Ankobea, the GMA President, pledged the support of the Association to government's fight to eliminate the virus from Ghana.