Editorial : Ghanaians generally welcome further extension of ban on public gatherings

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President Akufo-Addo, during his 9th address to the nation on COVID-19 updates, extended the ban on public gatherings until the end of May 2020. This did not come as a surprise to many since the country has recorded increased number of infections in recent days.

This means that during this period, there will continue to be a ban on public gatherings such as the holding of conferences, workshops, parties, night clubs, drinking spots, beaches, festivals, political rallies, religious activities and sporting events.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) had prior to the announcement on Sunday expressed concern that a two-week partial lockdown was inadequate in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Current case statistics as at Sunday May 10 were: 4,700 confirmed cases, the figure represents the highest number of infections in West Africa. The President made it abundantly clear that implementation of the strategy of aggressively tracing, testing and treating is the surest way of rooting out the virus.

The Paper is happy that the President harped on this because WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti, last week stated that COVID-19 could become a fixture in our lives for the next several years, unless a proactive approach is taken by many governments in the region.

Moeti urges African states to: “… to test, trace, isolate and treat”.

Some pressure groups and Civil Society Organizations including the Bureau of Public Safety and the Ghana Medical Association in the lead up to the President’s address ramped up pressure for the President to extend the restrictions.

Dr. Frank Ankobea, President of the GMA, expressed the hope that the extension should enable the country capture the extent of the impact of the virus among the population. This is very important so that we have an idea of the extent of the spread so that we are better positioned plot a rapid response to curb its spread.

With the rising number of recorded infections, it is proper for government to extend the ban on public gathering so that we pursue aggressively with tracing, testing and treating. Ghanaians long to return to normalcy but that can only be achieved once we have mapped out the extent of the spread of the virus to contain and sterilize it.

Ghana’s case count in the West Africa sub-region gives cause for worry, and we need to redeem our image.

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