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General News of Friday, 8 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bawumia equating Dumsor to coronavirus was distasteful – Ricketts-Hagan

Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has expressed disappointment in the Vice –President, Dr. Bawumia, over what he says is the politicisation of issues regarding the management of the deadly coronavirus disease; in this case, equating it to Dumsor.

He described it as “distasteful”, furthering, “I am not quite sure whether he is still the head of the Economic Management Team (EMT) but it is clear that Dr. Bawumia has outlived his usefulness as a manager of the economy. Instead of being the leader of the EMT, at the forefront, with the President, in fighting against the COVID 19 pandemic, he has instead become a cheerleader for NPP government. And as cheerleaders do, they cheer their teams in between games without even knowing the score. That is what he has become.” He concluded

He also questioned government’s decision to lift the ban on lockdown especially when the country has not reached the peak of the pandemic, alleging that the decision was not based on science and data as claimed but inadequacies on the part of government.

“When we have not reached the peak of the pandemic or turned the corner with the disease, why do you lift the ban?” He asked. “Lifting the lockdown early, risked the chance of people with the disease in one household infecting people in another household. Something the lockdown would have helped prevent.”

Speaking in an interview on TV3 Hot Issues on Tuesday May 5 Ricketts-Hagan said the feeding programme during the lockdown was haphazardly handled and people complained about the food. He is therefore asking for government to account for the GHc 280 million allocated for the program. Aside that, He said the lockdown should have gone on for at least another 3 weeks to enable government effectively do the all the contact tracing, testing, and isolation of infected people from the communities to ensure everyone is safe and healthy.

“The government has received a lot of relief money to manage this pandemic, the $1 billion Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) from the IMF came in one go because it is an emergency relief fund, there was also the emergency support from World Bank, and the capping of the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) from $300 million to $100 million have all providing immediate cash. The government therefore has adequate resources to manage all these challenges presented by this deadly pandemic.”

“There is no excuse therefore, why the government could not continue the lockdown and the feeding of the people for at least another 3 weeks, to ensure that the country is in a comfortable place with the disease, and our health and safety are confidently guaranteed.”

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