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COVID-19: Ban on mass gatherings ‘perfectly legitimate’ – Public Health Analyst

Infectious disease and public health analyst, Dr. John Amoasi has supported calls for the reimposition of the ban on social gatherings as a means to slow the surge in the number of COVID-19 active cases in the country.

This he describes as a necessary evil to protect the citizenry from being infected with both the old and new strain of the virus as being recorded currently by health officials.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on what he makes on proposals for the government to enforce tighter restrictions to tackle the recent spike, Dr. Amoasi who is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) agreed that such a move remains one of the surest ways to stem the spread.

“I think that calls being made especially by the GMA are perfectly legitimate. This is not rocket science. It’s been straightforward to restrict the groups and close association of people. But this should be done by a different strategy.”

He argued that the country now needs a population-level approach in preventing people from moving in proximity to each other in gatherings such as weddings, funerals which are known as super spread events of the virus.

“We at the population level and the community level activities, we have tried with the individual strategy through the mask-wearing, washing of hands. This is clearly not enough. Where we are right now in this pandemic considering the fact that we have more rate of increase than our earlier peak, it does not make sense if we do not introduce strong measures. It is a very painful decision to make, but I think we are there. The earlier we take them the better for all of us”, he added.

Contact Tracing

Meanwhile, Dr. Amoasi is urging the reactivation of contact tracing as part of efforts to tackle the pandemic saying, “we are not doing the same kind of contact tracing that we were doing in the earlier stage of the pandemic which allowed us to see a lot better and take strong actions. The contact tracing is now non-existence.”

Currently, all 16 regions in the country have active cases with the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Eastern, and Central regions leading with the highest rate of infections.

In view of the recent increase in cases, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has advised the government to restrict social activities such as parties, church services, funerals, clubs, and other social gatherings of such nature.

It also wants markets regulated and as much as possible restricted.

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