Gov’t could be forced to reintroduce COVID-19 restrictions – Oppong Nkrumah

The Government has warned that there is a considerable possibility for the reintroduction of tougher restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 if the country’s active cases continue to rise.

Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah at the weekly Coronavirus update on Monday disclosed that government will also not hesitate to ensure stricter enforcement of Legislative Instrument and imposition of other movement restrictions.

A lot of concerns have been raised about the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Ghana and the blatant disregard of the safety protocols by a section of the public.

This worrying situation has compelled some stakeholders to mount pressure on the government to consider for instance another ban on social gatherings and even a lockdown.

But addressing the media, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah advised the citizenry to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines to avert the likelihood of the government bringing back some sanctions.

“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 said.

Meanwhile, data from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) show that there has been a surge in the number of positive cases together with increasing positivity since the early part of 2021 including high numbers at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

There has also been a sudden increase in the active cases from about 800 to over 3,000 over the past three weeks with the cases from Greater Accra Region are mainly located in Ayawaso West, Korle Klottey, and  Accra districts.

Response measures 

Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye at the same press briefing disclosed that the government as part of measures to bring the situation under control is among other things retraining of Contact Tracing Teams, providing logistics such as barcodes, sample bottles, and the supply of vehicles and contractual arrangement with Commercial Transport system.

He added that to ensure data management, the Service has assigned designated surveillance officers to the Laboratory to support data entry and linkage to care as well as engaging targeted groups such as GPRTU, market queens, etc on the need to adhere to safety protocols especially face mask-wearing as part of risk communication.

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