Total lockdown in Ghana imminent -GMA President
The President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Frank Ankobia, has hinted of a possible total lockdown in the country, saying personnel of the health sector were becoming increasingly worried over the cases, insisting a lockdown would be the ultimate solution if all measures fail.
He accused Ghanaians of the poor habit of adhering to the laid down COVID-19 protocols, and urged them to ensure they observe all the stipulated COVID-19 protocols to help avoid any timetable for a possible total lockdown in the country.
Dr. Frank Ankobia, who was speaking to Captain Koda on OTECFM’s Nyansapo morning show yesterday on the COVID-19 resurgence, said this was the time when the wearing of nose masks, washing of hands and social distancing should be enforced in the face of rising cases of the COVID-19.
According to the Medical Officer, the President must use all available means to ensure that every Ghanaian observes the protocols, since that was the surest way to control the spread of the disease.
Ghana’s COVID-19 cases currently stand at 56,230 with 54,631 recovered cases.
A total of 338 deaths have been recorded since the pandemic broke out almost a year ago, with 1,261 active cases on admission at the various health centers.
Digressing on the re-opening of schools in the country as announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo during his last address, the Ghana Medical Association President commended the government’s efforts at fumigating the schools, but sharply maintained that observing the protocols still remains the surest measures to nip the COVID-19 in the bud.
Dr. Frank Ankobia, who hailed the re-opening of schools, noted that the economic and social repercussions of the disease on Ghanaians was unbearable, but entreated parents and guardians to provide for their wards to ensure they observe the protocols as they go back to the classrooms.
In a related development, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reports that Ghana appears to be living on a health time-bomb with seeming disregard for COVID-19 protocols, despite an increase in the country’s active cases and reports of new strain of the virus in neighbouring Nigeria.
Markets, malls and shops are chockfull with selling and buying done everywhere, street corners and road shoulders inclusive, with neglect to the protocols.
At the Accra Tema Station and Makola Markets in the Central Business District of the national capital, the Ghana News Agency observed that most sellers and buyers had abandoned the wearing of nose masks, worse still, there is no sight of hand washing stations as used to be the case months ago.
It is a ‘bumper to bumper’ situation, as traders meander through the ‘forest of people’, and head porters scream “agoo, agoo” to ramble through the crowd.
Matilda Annan, a trader at the Tema Station, said provisions were made for the washing of hands at the entrance of the station, but the whereabouts of the facility was not known.
“People do not care about hand washing anymore,” a leader at the station, who sought anonymity, added.
Akosua Pomaah, a trader at Makola Market, who had her nose mask under her chin, said most customers had stopped using nose masks and that the few people who came with them had them in their pockets.
Vera Appah, 27, who said she was at the Makola Market to buy foodstuffs, lamented about the crowd and disregard for social distancing, saying both buyers and sellers had to push their way through. The situation was not different at the commercial vehicle (trotro) stations around the markets. The vehicles were fully loaded with passengers, with many, not in nose masks.
Peter Ayitey, a commercial driver at the Ho Station near Tema Station, said without enforcement of the protocols, the country could go for a second lockdown, and challenged the government to enforce the protocols.
“Enforcement is important to the campaign. Without enforcement there’s no need for the laws and protocols. The taskforces and security persons must wake up and protect us all,” a retired Educationist, spotted in a double layer nose mask with a bottle of hand sanitiser ‘trapped’ in his belt hole, added.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way customers shop, either by choice or because of mandated lockdowns and restrictions.
But it appears the lack of enforcement of the protocols was pushing Ghana’s case count high, with fears of the country recording the new strains. According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the country’s COVID-19 active cases had increased to 1,261, with 193 new cases recorded by the first week of January, 2021.
As stated in the latest update on the website of the GHS, the country has, since January this year, recorded 56,230 confirmed cases with 54,631 recoveries, and a total of 338 deaths.