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General News of Monday, 13 July 2020


Coronavirus: NDC lists 10 ‘facts’ to prove Ghana losing fight to pandemic

The opposition National Democratic Congress has listed ten points it says are proof that Ghana is losing the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

National Communications Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, said at a press conference on Monday, July 13, 2020, that Ghana’s rising coronavirus case count is the result of a lack of commitment by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government to fighting the deadly virus.

“Ghana is fast-losing the COVID-19 fight due to the careless and directionless leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo,” Sammy Gyamfi said at the 7th weekly press conference held at the party’s headquarters at Adabraka in Accra.

Ghana reported 692 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, July 12, 2020, to bring the case count to 24,518.

The Ghana Health Services said in a statement that over 327,000 tests have been conducted so far to diagnose COVID-19.

A total of 129 people have died from the virus while 20,187 people have recovered.

Speaking at the press conference, Sammy Gyamfi listed the following points as valid indicators that the country was losing the coronavirus fight:

1. Ghana has recorded over 24,000 positive cases with 139 deaths.

“Our astronomically high and ever-increasing positive case count is putting huge pressure on the already-constrained health system of the country. Indeed, many health facilities across the country, including the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital have been compelled to suspend other critical emergency health services due to the overwhelming cases of Coronavirus on their hands.”

2. The long-standing problem of lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers.

“This has not been addressed by President Akufo Addo and his government contrary to the countless and persistent assurances we have been given.

“This has occasioned an alarming rate of COVID-19 infections among health workers, leading to the loss of several precious lives, including some renowned health experts. So far, over 779 health workers made up of 190 doctors, 410 nurses and midwives, 23 hospital pharmacists and 156 allied health workers, have caught the virus, with 10 deaths, while the insensitive Akufo Addo-government continues to pay lip service to this critical issue. This is sad and completely unacceptable,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

3. Alarming COVID-19 infections among top NPP/government officials, some of whom have died.

According to the NDC, this does not inspire any confidence in the ordinary man that this fight against the virus is being won.

“As you may be aware, our Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Forestry Commission CEO, Kwadwo Owusu-“Afriyie (may God bless his soul), the late Takoradi Mayor, another sad casuality, K.K Sam, the BOST MD, the NHIA Director-General and her Deputies, the Minister of Regional Re-organization, Dan Botwe, the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, The Ghana Education Service (GES) Director-General, the former deputy minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah and the Volta Regional Minister, Archibald Yao Letsa, are but a few of the bigwigs on the tall list of Government Officials who have either battled, are battling or succumbed to COVID-19 in the last few months. This phenomenon clearly bears out our worsening COVID-19 situation,” he said.

4. The rising phenomenon of shutdown of key state institutions such as, COCOBOD, GNPC, BOST, NHIA, Ministry of Finance, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Education, the National Health Insurance Authority among several others

The NDC added that this further accentuates the alarming rate of community spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

“Only God knows which other state institution is playing host to this deadly virus and whether at this rate, the entire government machinery will not be brought down on its knees in the coming weeks,” Sammy Gyamfi added.

5. The significant reduction of testing and contact tracing.

According to the NDC, this is a major setback to Ghana’s COVID-19 fight. Government’s refusal to pay contact tracers their meagre motivational allowances, despite Parliament making financial provision for same, has led to the complete abandonment of contact tracing, thereby letting loose the ravaging virus in our communities, the NDC said.

“Also, our severely constrained testing capacity and shortage of test reagents and other vital supplies, which accounts for the huge backlog of samples waiting to be tested at both the Noguchi Center for Medical Research and the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR), is further exacerbating our failing fight against the virus,” Sammy Gyamfi stated.

7. The lack of isolation facilities to contain the rising positive cases.

The NDC National Communications Officer said this very worrying and added that “currently, most of our hospitals and health facilities are full and overstretched, leading to the suspension of other critical emergency health services, while our ICUs are also getting full.”

He said this situation that has led to an increase in self-isolation of positive cases is undermining Ghana’s COVID-19 fight as the evidence on voluntary self-isolation show relatively low compliance to safety protocols as compared to mandatory isolation.

8.The inadequacy of health personnel to manage COVID-19 cases.

The NDC said this is a major problem that has even been admitted by Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health in the media few weeks ago.

9. The inconsistent and doubtful data on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation.

This, according to the NDC, is leading to the loss of public confidence in Ghana’s health system.

“The several instances of manipulation of data by the government to create a false sense of security, instead of reporting the true facts as they pertain to our situation has gradually chipped away public confidence in government’s management of the pandemic,” said Sammy Gyamfi.

10. Non-adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols by the majority of Ghanaians, particularly by the ruling New Patriotic Party.

According to the NDC, this reflects Ghana’s failing fight against the pandemic.

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