Head of Community Health Department at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS), Prof. Alfred Yawson says government’s inclination towards a possible lockdown to curtail the spread of Covid-19 may not be the best option for the country.
“We need to comply with mask-wearing, social distancing and hygiene. The lockdown per se is not an all in all solution. Countries have locked down, gone back and locked down again,” he said.
Following an upsurge in active Covid-19 cases, President Akufo-Addo, in his recent update on Ghana’s Covid-19 status he hinted at a possible lockdown in the foreseeable future, should Ghanaians continue to disregard the safety protocols.
“We do not want to go back to the days of partial lockdowns, which had a negative impact on our economy and on our way of life.
“But should that become necessary, i.e., should the number of active cases continue to increase at the current rate, I will have no option but to re-impose these restrictions because it is better to be safe than to be sorry. So, together, let us all ensure that we respect the protocols.”
According to the Ghana Health Service, as of January 18, Ghana’s active cases stood at 2,413 active cases, and 361 deaths.
Prof. Alfred Yawson attributed this surge in cases to the country “relaxing and letting down its guard in all spheres in fighting Covid-19″.
Speaking to JoyNews’ Bernice Abu-Baidoo, Friday, Prof. Alfred Yawson noted that if the country is not considering a lockdown as an alternative, then previous measures put in place on must be implemented effectively.
“We need to take drastic measures and go back to some important measures put in place – limiting the number of social gatherings, go back to effective contact tracing, getting people into treatments to curtail the rising.”
Should there be a lockdown, Prof. Yawson believes that the general economy and vulnerable households would be gravely affected.
According to the Community Health Expert, Ghana’s health system does not have the capacity to hold the recorded Covid-19 cases rushing in.
For instance, a 50-bed health diseases facility being constructed at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to help in the fight against Covid-19 is yet to be completed nearly a year after construction started.
Sources say the facility was supposed to have been completed within 30 days.
In view of all this, Prof. Alfred Yawson called on the government, the Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders to double-up its efforts in its fight against the virus.
“We are still struggling to get the core figure of staff who would be able to run our ICU’s in the treatment centres. We still need to increase the efforts, get as many personnel as possible in this fight and provide them whatever it takes so they are motivated to up their sacrifices and do it to support Mother Ghana.
“There is more we need to get from our leadership and from the ministry and the Ghana Health Service and all interested parties. Also, from the private sector as well – private health facilities who are involved, private laboratories who are involved that we do our bid to support the national effort,” he said.