President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday delivered a national address giving updates on COVID-19 and announcing a raft of actions in the area of containment of spread and infection.
The 21-minute address touched on amongst others: the jumbo infection recorded at a fish factory in the industrial city of Tema late last week. “All 533 persons were infected by one person,” the president said without giving any further details.
He said that the 533 positive cases, which represents around 11.3% of Ghana’s total infections, were part of a backlog of about 921 cases going back as far as April 26 that are only recently being reported.
“The implementation of our strategy of aggressively tracing, testing and treating is our surest way of rooting out the virus,” Akufo-Addo said.
He announced an extension of the ban on public gatherings, it will now extend until the end of May when new directives will be given. Schools and universities will remain closed.
Current case statistics as at Sunday May 10 were: 4,700 confirmed cases after 533 new cases – the figure represents the highest number of infections in West Africa. Nigeria is second with 4,388 cases.
22 people have died of coronavirus-related causes, while 494 have recovered. Ghana has undertaken 160,501 tests since the outbreak, a figure the president touted as highest per million people than any other country in Africa.
On the subject of politicizing the virus fight, the president took a swipe at the opposition led by former president John Mahama, who have been critical of government’s response to the pandemic.
“I know some political actors will want you to believe that our current numbers represent a failure on the part of Government. Do not begrudge them. They need to make such comments for their political survival.
“On the contrary, we must be emboldened in the knowledge that the 4,700 persons infected, so far, with the virus, have been identified, taken out of the population, isolated and are being treated,” he indicated.
Akufo-Addo noted, “this virus, as we have seen the world over, is no respecter of persons, and has wreaked its havoc on every country on the planet. We can defeat it if we continue to look out for one another, and remain each other’s keeper. We are fighting a common enemy, and it is imperative that we do not allow religious, ethnic or political differences to get in the way of certain victory.”
He continued: “So, we cannot allow a few persons, who wish to use these differences to scuttle our collective fight, to succeed. Over the course of our history as a people, we have had to overcome several trials and tribulations: slavery, imperialism, colonialism, tyranny and dictatorship, and we have overcome them all so that, with the help of the Almighty, we are, today, building a free, independent State, a State that, despite the urgency of the crisis, is governed by democratic institutions, and respect for fundamental human rights, especially freedom of speech.”
May 10: 4,263 cases, Accra prison ‘infected’
Ghana’s case statistics as of close of day May 9 stood at 3,263 according tallies released by the health service. It represents 251 cases after the spike of late last week.
The recovery tally stood at 378 with four additional deaths bringing the tally to 22. The spike of 900+ cases reinvigorated the political back and forth between government the the main opposition.
Ex-president John Dramani Mahama in a tweet jabbed government saying it had failed citizens. “Fear gripped many homes last night when the latest confirmed cases were released. And that is understandable. #COVID19 is real, my brothers and sisters.
“I want to encourage you to protect yourself. Regular hand washing with soap & under running water is a must. Stay Home but if you have to go out for any reason including work, wear your mask, take along a hand sanitizer, & always disinfect commonly used and touched surfaces,” he posted on social media.
Local media outlets reported yesterday that police in the capital confirmed that more inmates across the Greater Accra Region had contracted the virus.
“Some of the inmates have already contracted the disease so we have separated them from the fresh suspects who would come into our custody. I can’t mention the number off-head but they have been taken to isolation centres.”
“If you listened to the news carefully, you will hear that two Nigeriens who were in our custody have been discharged having testing negative. I cannot talk about the others,” regional police chief Fred Adu Anim told the press.
May 9: 900+ new cases, tally hits 4,012
Ghana returned to most impacted West African country after authorities disclosed a record one-day increase of over 900 cases late Friday.
The current tallies stand at 4,012 with 18 deaths and 323 recoveries. The figures have triggered talk of whether the government was right to lift a lockdown imposed in three hotspots back in April.
The president insisted that the decision to lift the measure was based on data and science but the spike has led to questions being asked especially on social media.
Meanwhile the issue of the COVID-19 combat being politicised continues to rage as government and main opposition NDC continue to spar on the subject. The NDC have insisted that the government has relegated science to the backburner in dealing with the crisis.
Responding to the issue, a deputy information minister told a local radio station, Citi FM, that the opposition’s claim which also adds that “President Akufo-Addo seems more interested in his re-election than in the safety and life of Ghanaians” is false and without basis, Pius Hadzide is quoted to have said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement on Friday confirming that Ghanaians stranded abroad will be repartriated on an as and when basis. Ghana was among countries that refused to return students from Wuhan. The Ministry was also among the first to remonstrate over reports that Africans were being mistreated in Chinese city of Guangzhou back in April.