Ghana Declares Two Weeks Lockdown To Curb Covid-19 Spread

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has imposed restrictions on movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kumasi Metropolitan Area for a period of two weeks subject to review, effective Monday, March 30, 2020.

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The decision to lockdown according the President is to halt and contain the spread of the virus in Ghana.

He made this declaration in a televised address to Ghanaians on Friday, March 27 at the Jubilee House.

Explaining the need to restrict movements in these cities, the President said, although “Ghana has succeeded in halting any more importation of the disease into the country”, it was necessary “strictest measures are put in place to contain it” considering the prevailing circumstances.

“Even though it may be said that the number of infections is still relatively low, if we act now, purposefully, we have a chance of preventing escalation of our numbers,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.

“So, effective 1am on Monday, 30th March, some forty-eight hours from now, I have imposed, pursuant to the powers granted the President of the Republic, under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), restrictions on movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA, which includes Awutu Senya East), and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, for a period of two (2) weeks, subject to review.”

President Akufo-Addo further explained: “It will give us the opportunity to try to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they prove to have the virus.”

This comes barely two weeks after the president gave directives banning public gathering including church service, school and funerals. He also ordered the closure of the country’s borders and ordered a mandatory 14 quarantine of all Ghanaians who returned into the country.

The decision was arrived at following several emergency meetings with government’s Covid-19 team.

It has been a week of incessant calls on the president to consider a lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 by various organized groups including the Ghana Medical Association, the Trade Union Congress and the opposition National Democratic Congress.

As of March 27, 2020, the Ghana Health Service has confirmed a total of 137 cases of coronavirus in the country.

Ghana has recorded four deaths, but the Service said all the four “had underlying chronic medical conditions.”

Giving a breakdown of the situation in the country, the Ghana Health Service said Fifty-three (53) of the cases are well; fourteen (14) are being managed at home and the rest are responding well to treatment on admission in isolation.

“Greater proportion of those on treatment with mild symptoms and are awaiting repeat of their laboratory tests to inform decision to discharge them,” it said.

It said majority of the confirmed cases are Ghanaians, who returned home from other affected countries. Seven (7) are of other nationals namely: Norway, Lebanon, China, Netherlands, and United Kingdom. Seventy-eight (78) among the travelers (1,030 in number), who were mandatory quarantined and tested, have tested positive for COVID-19.

In respect of contact tracing, a total of 1,006 contacts have been identified and are being tracked.

Out of these, two hundred and four (204) have completed the 14-days mandatory follow up.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service with the support of the other security agencies has vowed to implement the lockdown order to the letter.

“The Ghana Police Service (GPS), the Service will foremost lay emphasis on enforcing the lockdown directives to the letter. Furthermore, the GPS will continue to strengthen its role in strictly enforcing mandatory and self-quarantine guidelines in coordination with the GHS as required,” the police said in a leaked operation strategy for the lockdown.

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