Former President John Mahama has said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s extension of the lockdown period by one week is appropriate judging from the “worrying trend of the increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus infections”, adding that it “calls for a dedicated commitment by us all toward supporting the fight against the infections”.
The President, last week, extended the partial lockdown on Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi by a week more.
He also said the country’s borders will remain closed until further notice.
In his sixth address to the nation on the coronavirus situation, which has killed eight out of the six hundred and thirty-six confirmed cases so far, the President said: “Seventy-nine per cent of the three hundred seventy-eight confirmed cases were imported”, adding: “Clearly, until we have the situation fully under control, we cannot, at this time, open our borders; they’ll have to remain shut until further notice”.
Mr Akufo-Addo said a total of four hundred and fifty contact-tracing teams have been able to take samples of thirty-seven thousand four hundred and five people, so far.
“In total, seventy-seven positive cases were recorded in Accra and Kumasi, representing zero point five three per cent of the fourteen thousand six hundred and eleven.
“We expect to be able to test some ten thousand additional samples in the coming week to give us a clearer picture to enable take a decision on the way forward”, he announced, adding: “The fight is not over and we are by no means out of the woods yet”.
“So, the decision has been taken, through the issuance of another executive instrument, to extend the restriction on movement in the Greater Accra metropolitan area and Kasoa; and the Greater Kumasi metropolitan area and its contiguous districts by one more week”.
Speaking at a ceremony to distribute food to some twenty thousand households in the locked-down areas, Mr Mahama, who is the flag bearer of the NDC, said: “The latest extension of the lockdown period is accordingly appropriate”, noting: “We must help our security personnel to enforce the directives and ensure that movement during this period is minimised in order to stop the spread of the virus”.
Considering the new cases being discovered, Mr Mahama said: “It is clear that we are entering a new phase where there is the beginning of a horizontal spread of the disease. This requires us to redouble our efforts in the battle against the pandemic”.
More testing centres, he said, “need to be set up in order to shorten the waiting time for results”, insisting: “This is necessary so that appropriate models of the expected trajectory of the disease can be developed in order to guide any decisions on easing the restriction of movement of people”