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General News of Thursday, 21 May 2020


Living with coronavirus – Oppong Nkrumah explains Health Minister's stance

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah play videoInformation Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has explained that the Health Minister and President’s statements that the coronavirus pandemic has come to stay, is not meant to scare the citizenry.

He says the statement is rather an invitation for a broad conversation to determine how Ghanaians can survive, in the long term, in case a cure is not developed, in the short term, as lockdown is not the way to go.

Speaking at the Information Ministry’s press conference Thursday, May 21, 2020, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah stated that “the world is coming to a realization that what appeared to be one of the preventive method which was everybody’s stay at home, be locked down at home, cannot go on in perpetuity and so at some point, as we are seeing all over the world, there need to be an easing of the restrictions even while the virus remains in the global eco-system.”

This is because there is no certainty when a cure or vaccine will be found for the virus.

“We continue to keep our fingers crossed, scientists all over the world including here in Ghana, who are working will come to a good answer soon but the fact is that the COVID-19 virus is around the world in the eco-system around the world. There is no vaccine or cure now. We do not even know when exactly when there would be a vaccine or a cure.”

The Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka while addressing parliament on Wednesday called on government to be careful with the mode of communication when giving updates on COVID-19 as many can easily misinterpret the information, citing the Health Minister’s statement that coronavirus is here to live with us as an example.

But the Majority leader and Health Minister disagreed with this assertion.

At Thursday’s media briefing, the Information Minister noted that there is the need to start a national conversation about living in a new normal. He urged the media to engage the public in this conversation.

“The deeper the public engagements, the better the options we’ll have. As I mentioned earlier the question before us is not whether or not it is possible to ease some of the restrictions. The question is what does it take to ease some of the restrictions while ensuring that the population is protected,” he added.