The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday urged the Government to do more to reduce the recent increases in COVID-19 cases.
As at Tuesday, 9th February 2021, Ghana’s confirmed cases increased exponentially to 71,533, and recorded more than 700 newly confirmed cases daily with current active cases of 6,411.
The worsening situation, the Minority in Parliament observed was as result of shortage of facilities as PPE, oxygen, testing longer routine and no free walk-in tests and relaxed routine surveillance.
The Minority said evidence on the ground pointed to increased cross infections among COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients and caregivers due to overcrowding at health facilities, long delays in the delivery of test results was also putting patients and caregivers at risk of infection.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the COVID-19 situation is getting out of hand considering its toll on our human capital,” Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the Acting as Ranking Member on Health said at a news conference, at Parliament, Osu-Accra.
He observed that many prominent and highly experienced Ghanaians serving in critical positions were dying; doctors, lawyers, teachers, chiefs, Ambassadors, religious leaders, entrepreneurs and politicians.
This, the Minority observed that COVID-19 was taking a toll on Ghana human capital as “many prominent and highly experienced Ghanaians serving in critical positions of our socioeconomic system are dying-doctors, lawyers, teachers, chiefs, ambassadors, religious leaders, entrepreneurs and politicians.
“At the last count, Ghana had lost 472 lives to the virus as of yesterday with about 137 or 29 percent of the deaths occurring in only this year,” the Minority said.
Mr Akandah said “With the upsurge in cases in Ghana, we urge the Government to show seriousness, evaluate and review the management of the pandemic in this country.”
“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his technical team of advisors have not demonstrated enough competence in handling this pandemic contrary to all they have been trumpeting,” Mr Ankandoh alleged, adding that, “rate of infections are increasing. Technical guidelines on prevention and management are not being enforced.
“Contact Tracing has been abandoned.”
Mr Akandoh pointed out that, “the trend of infections and death is worrying and if nothing is done immediately to arrest the situation our outturn with COVID-19 would be a complete disaster.
“Information from Ghana Health Service shows that about 32 percent of confirmed cases now report to medical centres sick as compared to 21 percent in 2020. Our positivity rates for routine surveillance and enhanced contact tracing all now hover above 10 per cent.
At the beginning of the conference, Mr Akandoh thanked Ghana’s health workers, who he said “have demonstrated courage and love to lead in the fight against Covid-19.”
“Many have sacrificed their lives and families to give life to infected patients. Some have even died while on duty. We indeed appreciate their efforts and to those who lost their lives may their souls rest in peace,” he added.
He called on the Government to ensure that protocols relating to the discharge of deceased, and that COVID-19 protocols should be strictly enforced to reduce the potential of increasing the community spread of the virus.
With the discovery of the new variant of COVID-19 in Ghana, the Minority appealed Government to clear payment arrears to frontline health professionals their 50 per cent allowances and the insurance packages for those who get infected or die in the line of duty to re-attract into the management and care of COVID-19 health issues.
The Minority called on the Government to adequately resource schools to make the environment safe from COVID-19, and the media should be considered by the Government and given enough financial and other resources to enable them carry out public education on COVID-19.
“We entreat all people living in Ghana to strictly comply with the COVID-19 safety protocols to prevent further spread of the infection,’ Mr Akandoh appealed.