Editorial : Haste to ease restrictions ill-advised

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General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Justice Yankson, has cautioned that with the rising number of infected COVID-19 cases, if we don’t take time and our health system is overwhelmed, deaths that we are worried about could go up.

As of yesterday, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Ghana’s COVID-19 cases had increased by 427 – bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 5,127. This is indeed no time for complacency. The total number of recoveries however remained at 494, with 22 deaths.

Dr. Yankson observed that every fabric is being affected by COVID-19 in relation to gender, geographical location, among others. When you juxtapose the increasing number to the rate at which we are growing to the sort of [health] facilities we have, then you can realise that we are in trouble.

There should be very little doubt in the minds of many that community-spread is gaining more and more ground. This means we should intensify testing, tracing and treatment.

Bearing this in mind, this Paper is at a loss as to why Christian Ecumenical Bodies are calling for an ease in restrictions on social gathering when then numbers keep rising by the day! We definitely are not out of the woods yet, and it would be suicidal – given the amount of evidence globally – to let complacency set in and ease restrictions on social gatherings.

The rising numbers are an indication that we need to be far more conscious of social distancing and take hygienic practices more seriously.

Even the GMA urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo not to lift the ban on social gatherings including religious activities, schools, marriages, and funerals, as the country continues to record high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Besides, the president in his 9th address to the nation on the status of COVID-19 in the country extended the ban on social gathering until end of the month – and we have a little over two weeks to end of the month, so the indecent haste could prove our undoing.

A Caribbean adage says ‘…a patient man rides a donkey’ and we recall how our Lord rode a donkey through Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, yet his followers and assigns lack the patience and forbearance to emulate his example.

The executive arm of government has the best medical advice and advisors, and we believe they should not unduly take actions that will put Ghanaians in harm’s way. Let us abide by the executive instrument on restrictions for now.

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