Coronavirus lockdown: Don’t stampede gov’t but shutdown public transport – Otabil

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Pastor Mensa Otabil has said Ghanaians should not “stampede” the government into making one decision or the other with regard to a lockdown, as part of moves to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) and others have called for a lockdown just as many countries in Europe, Asia, America and Rwanda have done, to fight the pandemic.

The Ghanaian government has, however, not made any moves to lock down the country but says all options to help prevent the spread of the virus are on the table.

Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 said: “At this point in time, there’s no decision to lockdown but all options remain on the table.”,

He added that: “The President has said that any time he has to escalate his measures, he will do so, and if anybody or any group has some research propositions that they want to share to help the decision-making process, we are happy to receive it,” Mr Nkrumah said.

Pastor Otabil said in his opinion, there should be a suspension of public transport since it is one of the means of spreading the virus.

Speaking in a live Facebook session, the founder and leader of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) noted that: “The manifestation of the pandemic in Ghana may not be the same as Great Britain, the incidence may not be the same. I think the best thing for our political leaders is to have the most objective sources of information and balance between the needs of the people and the reality of what should be done.

“Different countries have used different models to resolve this. Some did very draconian lockdowns and it worked for them, others did massive testing and it worked for them and different people have approached it differently…

“Should there be a lockdown in Ghana, I don’t know, I don’t have the facts, but my common sense will be that we should suspend public transport because this thing travels by transportation. We’ve shut down airlines, so, maybe inter-city travel must be shut down. We have to start shutting down travel one way or the other that may end up becoming like a lockdown one way or the other except people decide to walk from Accra to Kumasi or wherever they want to walk to, and that will be my commonsensical approach.”

He added that: “I don’t think the government has any responsibility to take my advice; I’m seeing it from the information I have, they are seeing it from a different point of view and they may make a different call on the same facts. Yes, everybody thinks shutting down may be the answer but shutting down can be very scary.”

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