There could be a lockdown in Ghana again – Oppong Nkrumah
The government may be forced to impose a lockdown if the upsurge of coronavirus infections persists, Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has warned.
With Ghana’s latest COVID-19 cases rising at a rapid rate, he warned that a lockdown was among the options the government would consider if the trend continued.
According to the Ghana Health Service, Ghana has recorded 3,525 active cases and 367 deaths as of Monday, January 25, 2021.
As of October 8, 2020, the country’s case count had dipped to as low as 289 cases.
This means in the last three months the country had recorded almost 1,200% increase in the deadly infectious disease which is crippling the country’s healthcare system.
So far, the country has recorded 60,794 cases with 57,141 recoveries and discharges.
That in addition to the spike in cases might compel the government to introduce more restrictions if the trend continued, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
“There is a possibility of a lockdown and other restrictions. If this trend continues, then yes that is where we are heading.
“I have to be very clear on that one that more restrictions could be introduced if this trend continues. We are being reminded that we all need to be doing the things we were doing, in the beginning, to ensure that this third rise is quickly dealt with because the dynamics of this third rise appear to be different from the first one.”
“So especially, if these numbers go up this way then just like the President himself articulated, then we are heading for more restrictions even if it means reviewing some Legal Instruments, yes that is where we will be heading. “He added.
So far, all 16 regions in Ghana have recorded fresh cases of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
President Nana Akufo-Addo announced a lockdown of the hot spots of the coronavirus in Ghana, to control the spread of the virus in March this year.
This occurred at a time Ghana had recorded five deaths and 152 infections.
On the back of the fast-spreading pathogens and calls for the restriction of movements spearheaded by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), a partial lockdown was imposed in some parts of the country mainly Greater Accra, Kasoa in the Central Region and Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
The directive took effect at 1 a.m, on Monday, March 30, 2020. However, the directive did not affect a section of the public who were described as essential service providers.
The partial lockdown period was for three weeks and it was lifted on April 20, 2020.
Essential service providers included health professionals, media, bankers, members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary, and fuel station workers were the categories of people exempted from the lockdown.
But the government came under extreme pressure to lift the lockdown as the restriction bit hard on the livelihood of vulnerable Ghanaians.
It also had a social consequence, according to a survey by the Ghana Statistical Service.
Lockdown and crime
The survey revealed an increase in criminal activities during the period Ghana went under a lockdown to control COVID-19.
The findings showed that at least three out of 10 communities (34.1%) experienced a rise in crime, such as theft and burglary.
The lawbreakers also engaged in other acts and it emerged that domestic violence went up by 3.7% and assaults 3.1% in communities.
Lockdown localities saw the highest increase (47.1%) in crimes.
These are major findings of the Local Economies Tracker conducted by the GSS, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It was undertaken in 2,770 localities in all 16 regions of Ghana.
Out of the total number of localities surveyed: 554 of them are in districts that were in lockdown areas; 1,169 were in districts that share international borders with other countries (border districts), and 1,047 were neither in lockdown nor border districts (other districts).
The survey was carried out from May to June 2020 and data was collected from key opinion leaders to understand the effect of COVID-19 on the local economy, particularly in localities in border districts, lockdown and non-lock down areas.