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General News of Tuesday, 21 April 2020


Lockdown lift: More coronavirus cases should be expected - Health Expert predicts

Dr John Amuasi Dr John Amuasi

A Global Health Expert, Dr John Amuasi, has warned that government’s decision to lift the three-week lockdown imposed on parts of the country might lead to an increase and faster spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.

He believes lifting the three-week partial lockdown at this time wasn’t the right thing for the president to do as the country is yet to determine the true infection rate and whether it was under control.

In an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Dr Amuasi said “there surely, based on the decision we have taken, will be more cases of coronavirus and coronavirus is going to spread faster. What I cannot determine is what the impact of that spreading or increase in infection will be.”

The lecturer at the Global Health Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology said Ghana needs to draw lessons from what is happening in countries like Singapore and China, which are results of decisions their leaders made.

“Singapore did not institute testing on the population of migrant workers and this has led to a second wave [and] on the other hand, Hong Kong that maintained a continuous lockdown, has been able to very well manage a second wave.”

“But you can only do this at a place like that when you have a small population size, the geography is well defined and you can keep your borders tight and track the movement of people,” he added.

In his 7th address to the nation since the outbreak of the coronavirus, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo lifted the partial lockdown on Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi.

He said “In view of our ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons, the enhancement of our capacity to test, the expansion in the numbers of our treatment and isolation centres, our better understanding of the dynamism of the virus, the ramping up of our domestic capacity to produce our own personal protective equipment, sanitisers and medicines, the modest successes chalked at containing the spread of the virus in Accra and Kumasi, and the severe impact on the poor and vulnerable, I have taken the decision to lift the three-week-old restriction on movements in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kasoa, and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and its contiguous districts, with effect from 1am on Monday, 20th April. In effect, tomorrow will see the partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi being lifted.”

But Dr. John Amuasi believes this decision will lead to Ghana recording more cases of the pandemic.

“I am not saying we should prepare for more deaths and destruction. I am not saying it is going to collapse our economy although it has the potential to do it but, if the argument is that we are following the number and we are good to go and the infections won’t go up, I’ll strongly contest that…The medicine must not be worse than the disease itself and it is hard for me to tell what the ultimate disease will be, if we continue in a lockdown situation but what I want to make sure is very clear is that we’ve got to prepare for more cases of coronavirus…there will be more cases based on this decision.”

Meanwhile, Ghana has so far recorded 1042 cases of the pandemic with 9 deaths and 99 recoveries.