The Accra Collective of the Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) has called for a total lockdown of the country by Government so that the coronavirus pandemic can be better fought.
In a statement, the Collective expressed regret over government’s decision to lift the three-week partial lockdown of the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi areas saying it is a hasty decision that has not been thought through.
“World Health Organization (WHO) projections released by Dr. Nsiah Asare, the Presidential Advisor on COVID-19 only last week does not provide any comfort to people of Ghana who suffer the consequences of the imposition of a neo-liberal order on a daily basis. According to this projection 3 million Ghanaians are likely to be infected by COVID-19 and out of this 150,000 people are likely to become seriously ill. Deaths resulting from COVID-19 could rise up to 15,000.
“It is shocking that in the face of this reality, the Government of Ghana has lifted the partial lockdown it imposed on the Greater Accra Region, parts of Central Region and Ashanti Region
“It is instructive to note that as at today, many health professionals are still complaining about the lack of PPE’s, the inadequate number of ventilators (there are only 100 for a population of 30 million), and insufficient hospital beds. Social interventions like the supply of food to the needy have collapsed and mass random testing has still not begun.
“In the light of all these, the Accra Collective of the SFG, calls on the Government of Ghana to impose a complete lockdown of the country immediately and to facilitate random mass testing. This call is predicated on the fact that the science of COVID-19 clearly shows that restriction on human mobility can reduce the spread of the virus by up to 45 percent.”
The statement which was signed by Blaise Tulo, Convener of the SFG’s Accra Collective said President Akufo-Addo’s plan to institute a nationwide curfew if the infections worsen is not a good plan B, insisting that if the right things are done no curfew will be needed.
It said the current spike in infections and deaths in Ghana would have been prevented if Government bhad paid heed to advise that the Accra Collective gave in March.
“On March 23, 2020, the Accra collective of the Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) issued a statement reviewing the global fight against the spread of COVID-19. At the time, the world had recorded a little over 340,000 cases and records released by the Ghana Health Authority (GHA) claimed that Ghana had only 24 recorded cases with one fatality.
“The March 23, 2020 statement said “in our view what needs to be done is to establish more testing centers beyond Accra and Kumasi and to establish a regime of random mass testing as happened in China and elsewhere. Ghana also needs to immediately establish quarantine centers using all available facilities which have not yet been commissioned and tents. The current situation also requires the total mobilization of all sections of the Ghanaian society to carry out relief operations and to intensify public education”. The SFG also recommended “an immediate and unconditional lockdown as the only effective means of combating the virus, given the fact that other options like getting more qualified health personnel and improving the stock of hospital beds are not available to us”.
“It is significant that in a relatively short period of three weeks, the Accra collective of the SFG has been vindicated. At the global level the number of infected cases has risen to 2.99 million with 208, 000 fatalities. In Ghana the number of infected cases has passed the 1500 mark with 11 fatalities. The horizontal spread of the virus accounts for more than 70 percent of the cases and the epic centers of the virus has moved from more effluent places in Accra to the slums.”