Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh poularly known as NAPO has suggested that some areas in the country may experience a lockdown if the surge in Covid-19 doesn’t stop.
According to him, if the numbers keep going up, authorities can’t sit unconcerned and do nothing.
Speaking on Asempa FM, the minister opined that places like Oforikrom and its surrounding areas in the Ashanti Region may have to be on a lockown due to the rampant cases there.
“Before I went to the hospital, I spoke to some of the doctors and they were worried about Oforikrom in the Ashanti Region that the number of cases coming from Oforikrom is [alarming] and they don’t understand”.
He said: “When I went to Kumasi, I was worried about my Zongo because they were not following any of the protocols. Oforikrom has a lot of Zongos. So, we have to drill down and look into it.”
He added, “In that situation, if we say we are locking down Oforikrom plus all the district assemblies contiguous to Oforikrom, it will be a good thing to do. My lockdown suggestion is that if the issue is getting overwhelming in Oforikrom, let’s restrict movement at Oforikrom and its surrounding districts and see how, if we can, impose a sort of restriction, a harsher form of restrictions till we get the number down.”
According to him, although Ghana is regarded as one of the best countries with regards to Covid-19 fight, government won’t sit aloof and watch matters get worse.
“I, even personally, have started entertaining that if we are not careful, per how things are going, in front of us, we might have a lockdown in specific parts of the country. I have that feeling that in specific parts of the country, not the whole Ghana, we might have to have a lockdown because people are stubborn. You can’t just watch an area where, for instance, out of 100 people, 90 have tested positive and just say they should keep going and coming; you can’t do that”.
“If we keep opening up for people to do whatever they want; go to the bar, go to the joint, go to the fufu spot, go to church the way we want it, it will worry us because the problem we have in Ghana, one of the reasons the President showed that decisive leadership, is that we don’t want our cases to end up in the hospitals because we don’t have the hospital capacity,” he cautioned.
He further stated, “we, in this country, don’t have the hospital capacity … So, when you don’t have the resources, that is when you even need to plan more and prevent you from getting to the situation where you are overwhelmed.”
“While I was on admission at the hospital, somebody lost his life. He was taken to the ICU at UGMC, which was full. So, if we don’t put in place the measures that will prevent people from getting to UGMC in the first place, [then we’ll be overwhelmed]”.
He however stated that any move to lockdown the country will be backed by science and data.
“When the data and the science and the numbers are saying that in this area, there’s a preponderance of COVID activity, so, we have to lockdown that area, it means schools in that area won’t open, shops will remain closed; there would be a limit to human interactions. Like Melbourne, Australia, two states went into total lockdown for six weeks. Why? They had ease. After the easing of restrictions, [some place saw an upsurge in cases],” he said.