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Opinions of Monday, 6 April 2020

Columnist: Supt (Rtd) Peter L Toobu

One Ghana united approach against coronavirus

President Akufo-Addo President Akufo-Addo

Mr. President, I bring you greetings from Wechiau, the capital town of the Wa West District, Upper West Region of Ghana.

Mr. President, for clarity, I'm neither a medical doctor nor a scientist. I am a student of Leadership, Innovation and Change. All I do is think outside the box to recommend solutions to nagging problems confronting humanity.

The last time I wrote to you using this anti-COVID-19 medium, I made some recommendations that could help kick out the virus in 28 days. We have unfortunately moved from 2 confirmed cases to over 200 cases and my instinct compels me to share an opinion with you again in the interest of the Ghanaian public. Specifics worth recalling are;

1. Total Lockdown (TL) even if it's for 72 hours to raise national consciouness and prevent spreading of the virus across the country in an intended Partial Lockdown which you finally opted for.

-Strategic *release* of areas after TL period will still have some restrictions per expert advice.
- Every sick person within 14 days of the Lockdown period should be given free medical care irrespective of the disease as well as a COVID-19 Test.

2. I agreed with many proponents of Mass Testing and went further to recommend Stratified Mass Testing respecting our dire economic circumstances where raising a $100million has revealed the true status of our economy. Stratified Mass Testing refers to testing all OPD & suspected cases as well as all Contacts traced within the 14 days. The implication is that all Health Workers at OPDs & consulting rooms must be adequately equipped and appropriately clothed immediately if we intend to go ahead of the virus.

Mr. President, your attempt to politicise/ depoliticise the nation's fight against COVID-19 is applauded but fell flat on its face as your actions point to the contrary. For instance, Government's COVID-19 Team is completely partisan. Secondly, the Constitution of COVID-19 TRUST FUND is both family-centred & partisan. The composition of these two key bodies contradict your apolitical call.

Mr. President, you won't disagree with me that at this critical moment of our nation's history where borrowing is gradually becoming the best innovation for our economy, maintaining an obese government while asking your appointees and philanthropists to contribute into the COVID-19 TRUST FUND paints a picture of a nation blinded to the imminent devastation that COVID-19 can cause.
I am glad it's not too late for you to reconsider some decisions of yours that can make the whole nation rally behind your effort at leading us through these difficult times.

If we miss the opportunity offered by COVID-19 to unite the country, posterity will hold us all responsible and accountable. Many are becoming more nationalistic than partisan and you hold the key to the whole-of-Ghana approach.

I'm just responding to your call to be a citizen and not a spectator.
May the Lord grant you more courage and wisdom to keep Ghana safe as we all help in navigating this country out of an impending health disaster.

Ghana first, my motivation. Accept my highest esteem and may God/Allah continue to make this country great and strong. May your legacy be a united, healthy and prosperous Ghana.

I salute, Your Excellency.

Supt (Rtd) Peter L Toobu

Wechiau, Wa West, UWR