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General News of Monday, 11 May 2020


Minority’s claims on COVID-19 response plan are untrue and without basis – Govt

Government has rejected claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it is giving Ghanaians "false hope" by hiding the actual figures about the spread of the Coronavirus infection and saying the country's situation is under control.

Deputy Information Minister Pius Enam Hadzide, at a press conference in Accra on Friday, said the assertion by the NDC is false and without basis.

Contrary to the claims, Pius Hadzide said the NPP government had been swift and decisive with broader stakeholder consultations in the battle to defeat the flu-like coronavirus.

Pius Hadzide said government has defended its COVID-19 response by showing strong leadership and has been effective and transparent in its management of the pandemic.

At a press conference on Thursday, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu accused government of not being forthright with the coronavirus figures in Ghana.

"Government should desist from selling false hope of a situation under control and using its management of information as a cover for this farce," he stated.
He was of the view that it insults the intelligence of Ghanaians.

"We are at 3,000 and you say that we should wait, all is well. All was not well when we were at 200 and 300 (cases). How can it be well at 3000 (cases) and counting?" he queried.

The Minority Leader also claimed that science had been relegated to the background by the President, who is instead relying on signs and wonders.

Responding to this assertion, Mr Hadzide said that could not be true.

He indicated that scientists and health experts had been offering regular updates and briefing, and, therefore, any suggestion about lack of transparency in the COVID-19 fight was mind boggling.

"The NDC cannot be allowed to approbate and reprobate on this matter," he lamented.

Mr Hadzide noted that government, from the onset, has put in place measures to deal with the pandemic, including the constitution of a taskforce made up of technical persons, "including epidemiologists, virologists, medical doctors, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, security heads, and so on."

"It is this taskforce of persons of reputable background knowledge and expertise that advise the president on the policy options in fighting Covid-19, and not politicians masquerading as medical doctors in partisan Covid-19 teams," he noted.

The Deputy Minister added that President Akufo-Addo has led "from the front and continues to address the nation honestly and regularly."

He also debunked claims by the NDC that the government made "no provision for the eventuality of an outbreak", and cited the initial investment of GH¢35 million announced by the President, which was later ramped up to US$100 million.

According to the Deputy Minister, the minority NDC's claim of "worsening COVID-19 situation and the national response" was just to cover up its "flagbearer, John Mahama, who has been badly bruised by his politicisation of the COVID-19 pandemic".

"The misinformation, deliberate distortions and warped analysis put out by the NDC flagbearer has been bemoaned and roundly condemned by many well-meaning Ghanaians," he added.

Mr Mahama, in a recent political broadcast on Facebook, questioned why the government should go for an IMF facility, and went on to say that no other African country had done so.

In response to that, the Deputy Minister dismissed that as untrue, saying 20 other African countries, including all the ones specifically listed by the former President, had accessed a total of US$18 billion from the IMF to help cushion them through the crisis.

He said it was disappointing that the NDC was unable to provide any practical use alternatives, but continued to propagate the same baseless and unfounded allegations made by its leader.

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