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General News of Friday, 29 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Lockdown entire country for 10 days rather than easing restrictions – CEGA to Akufo-Addo


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Center for Ethical Governance and Administration (CEGA) has called on President Akufo-Addo not to ease restriction as the number of Coronavirus cases has surged to over 7000.

According to CEGA, government should rather lockdown the entire country completely and comprehensively for 10 days and use the period to conduct mass or random testing in order to substantially contain the disease before any consideration.

In a press statement, CEGA stated that “In this regard, we urge the President and all state institutions including the Electoral Commission of Ghana and the National Identification Authority not to be motivated by any non-health considerations to undertake any mass gathering activities to recklessly jeopardize the lives of Ghanaians.”

“We call on His Excellency the President to rather lock down the entire country completely and comprehensively for 10 days and use the period to conduct mass or random testing in order to substantially contain the disease before any consideration can be given to ease the restrictions on social or physical distancing and other hygienic protocols meant to protect the lives of Ghanaians.”

Below is the full statement

CENTER FOR ETHICAL GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION (CEGA)

WORDS OF CAUTION TO PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO ON COVID-19
FROM CEGA


In a few days time, the President of the Republic and Commander In Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, President Akufo-Addo will address the nation on his policy direction on Covid-19 situation in Ghana.

So far there are mixed apprehensions among sections of the Ghanaian society on whether or not the President should take the unchartered course of easing the restrictions imposed under Executive Instruments including easing the ban on social and political gatherings.

Undoubtedly, these measures were suprisingly implemented without serious official commitment to enforcement. And the measures appear not to have been able to contain and or prevent the vertical spread of the pandemic in Ghana.

Strangely enough, and in the midst of rising number of cases of the pandemic, various interest groups such as Religious organisations, Educational institutions and business communities were mounting pressure on His Excellency the President to ease the restrictions.

These parochial interest groups have adduced one reason or the other as to why the President should look towards the direction of easing the social and political restrictions currently in force.

On one extreme and worrisome end is the immense political pressure being mounted by the President's own political party, the NPP to ease the restrictions in order to afford them the opportunity to conduct their primaries to elect their parliamentary candidates, and go to Congress to confirm the President and his Vice President for the Party's 2020 ticket.

In the midst of all these contending and confusing interests is the vexed question of the restrictions being eased to enable the National Identification Authority (NIA) to proceed to the Eastern Region to continue with the registration of people for the issuance of ECOWAS Identity Card.

As these apparent parochial interests play up, there has not been any due cognisance of the rising numbers of positive cases in the fast spreading Covid-19 epidemic in the country.

At the time of going to Press on 29th May, 2020, Ghana has recorded 7,616 Covid-19 infection cases.

Given the ferocious nature of the spread of this deadly pandemic, the CEGA strongly urges the Pressident to err on the side of caution and be mindful of the fact that the lives of over 30million Ghanaians depend on what decisions he takes and announces on his next address to the nation.

The President has often been quoted as saying "we can bring our economy back but we cannot bring back lost lives"

During the recent Heads of State Virtual Summit on the pandemic, His Excellency the President is on record to have profoundly advised his fellow heads of state not to be swayed to follow examples of other countries, but rather to take decisions based on their own country specific conditions and circumstances.

Given our soaring number of the epidemic, in addition to the position taken by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and other health professionals and experts against easing of restrictions, the CEGA is of the strongest view that easing the restrictions under the EI 64 will not be in the best interest of the people in the country.

In this regard, we urge the President and all state institutions including the Electoral Commission of Ghana and the National Identification Authority not to be motivated by any non-health considerations to undertake any mass gathering activities to recklessly jeopardize the lives of Ghanaians.

We call on His Excellency the President to rather lock down the entire country completely and comprehensively for 10 days and use the period to conduct mass or random testing in order to substantially contain the disease before any consideration can be given to ease the restrictions on social or physical distancing and other hygienic protocols meant to protect the lives of Ghanaians.

We advice this, because any other decision to the contrary will amount to reckless disregard for the lives of Ghanaians.

Ghanaian lives must matter more to the President and all than Ghanaian votes.



Signed:
Dr. Pius Essandoh
Director of Health
0246141460
Mike Aflu
0500349077
Mark Takyi-Banson
0556532767

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