Member of Parliament (MP) for Juaboso Constituency in the Western Region and Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has bemoaned the heightened level of COVID-19 infections in the country over the past few weeks… criticising government for negligence.
According to him, government has shifted all its attention onto vaccination to the detriment of mass testing and enforcement of other protocols; meanwhile it is unable to procure vaccines and there is a lack of information from government with regard to when the next batch of vaccines will arrive in the country.
Notwithstanding this, he reiterated that experts have emphasised that vaccination is the ultimate way to control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, government has been able to vaccinate only around one million of the population out of the planned seven million people by end of year, which is a cause for worry; and on top of that, no one seems to know when the next vaccines will arrive.
“If you look at the data, between July 4 and July 12, 2021 there has been a sharp increase in cases. On July 4, active cases were around 1,573 but a week later, it was around 2,247; this is quite alarming.
“If you ask me, as a Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, when we are going to roll out the next vaccination plan, the answer is I do not know. The worst of it is that we have stopped doing testing; and if one has a positive case or suspects being infected, the individual is required to test himself and the family and pay for it when government earlier told us testing is free,” he said to the B&FT in an interview.
He also bemoaned the cost of testing even at public health facilities. “Testing for the virus at government health facilities costs between GH¢300 – GH¢650 when government told the public it is free, and this is an indication that government says one thing and does another,” he stressed.
He urged the public to take the COVID-19 protocols seriously and adhere to them, because there is no serious plan in place now from government.
Furthermore, he called on government and President Akufo-Addo to as a matter of urgency come back to address the nation as they used to do on the status of COVID-19 and the way forward. “I would like to advise the general public to adhere strictly once again to the COVID-19 protocols: washing of hands, observing social distancing, boosting the immune system – so that one is protected, and in case a person contracts the virus they can survive the effects,” he added.
As at the time of going press, the active cases of COVID-19 stood at 3,001 with total deaths being 801.