Upsurge of COVID-19 cases defeat govt’s decision to lift lockdown

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, a former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, has observed that the inadequate testing centres and upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the country defeat government’s decision to lift the lockdown.

He expressed his disappointment over the President’s decision to lift the lockdown imposed on the Greater Accra Region and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas and Kasoa in the Central Region.

Prof. Akosa insisted that looking at the science of whole distribution of COVID-19, it had moved from the centre, Accra, towards periphery even with cases, there were still a lot of backlog in testing which he felt was not good enough to warrant lifting of the lockdown. 

“We needed situation where more centres can come online, we had expected extension of  lockdown at least by two more weeks to enhance contact tracing of persons believed to have come into contact with those who had tested positive to the virus.

“I expected probably two weeks to the end of April and I expected that at least all regional capitals should have been locked down as well, on the contrary the President lifted the lockdown but maintained restrictions on public gatherings, a measure adopted to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

President’s Akufo-Addo’s decision to lift the lockdown has been met with mixed reactions, whereas some believe that the lockdown should have been extended, others argued otherwise.

Dr Prosper Akambong,  a Public Health Specialist and a member of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) COVID-19 Technical Team, intimated that the President’s decision to lift the partial lockdown was hasty and should have rather extended the lockdown to other areas that had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

He indicated that lifting the lockdown was not a good idea because the government was only doing contact tracing and cases were rising at a time they had lifted sanction which were only primary contacts and because of delay in some results coming from primary contacts.

 “The primary contacts have also contacted tertiary contacts and quaternary contacts, you just can’t test few people and think because your curve appears to be flattening you should lift restrictions, I don’t think so, best option is to embark on mass testing exercise before lifting lockdown,” Dr Akambong bemoaned.

But Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Deputy Minister of Health, vehemently defended the decision to lift the lockdown.

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