The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has said that the government of Ghana does not believe in the effectiveness of a lockdown as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Speaking at a press conference by the Ministry of Information this morning, Mr Agyeman-Manu said lessons learnt by government after the imposition of restriction on movements in some parts of the country for a period, indicates that a lockdown is not going to help in the nation’s fight.
“Generally, the lockdown is not something that we believe is going to work any longer. The lockdown taught us a lot of things and now we have realised that its impact is quite severe.”
The minister’s statement was in response to a question on whether government was going to consider the imposition of a lockdown in Obuasi, which over the last few days has become one of the hotspots for the spread of COVID-19.
He said a team of experts headed by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service are currently in Obuasi trying to assess the situation there to subsequently provide an advisory to government.
The minister who in earlier submissions suggested that the coronavirus pandemic is likely going to be around for a long time, added that it is important people begin to learn to live their normal lives around the pandemic.
After lifting a three-week lockdown imposed on the capital Accra, as well as Kumasi, Tema, and Kasoa citing science among others, President Akufo-Addo has come under criticism by some persons, especially the opposition.
According to these critics, the lifting of the lockdown and the subsequent number of cases that have been recorded since then, makes the president’s decision a bad one.
However, government officials, including the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, says Ghana’s economy couldn’t have survived beyond three weeks of the partial lockdown.
“When you look at what happened during the lockdown. It was quite clear after a point that given the 90% of our population is informal and they go out each day to earn wages, it became increasingly impossible to continue with such a policy,” he said.
Ghana’s total number of confirmed cases currently stand at 5,530 while recoveries and deaths remain 674 and 24 respectively.