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Ghana’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has declared a two-week lockdown in four cities: Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi.
The directive comes into effect from Monday dawn, the president announced on Friday evening via a televised address.
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.
In Greater Accra, the following areas will be affected:
1. Accra Metropolis;
2. Tema Metropolis;
3. Tema West Municipality;
4. Ledzokuku Municipality;
5. Krowor Municipality;
6. Adentan Municipality;
7. Ashiaman Municipality;
8. La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality;
9. La-Dade-Kotopon Municipality;
10. Okaikwei North Municipality;
11. Ablekuma North Municipality;
12. Ablekuma West Municipality;
13. Ablekuma Central Municipality;
14. Ayawaso East Municipality;
15. Ayawaso North Municipality;
16. Ayawaso West Municipality;
17. Ayawaso Central Municipality
18. Ga West Municipality;
19. Ga North Municipality;
20. Ga Central Municipality;
21. Ga South Municipality;
22. Ga East Municipality;
23. Korle-Klottey Municipality;
24. Weija/Gbawe Municipality;
25. Kpone Katamanso Municipality; and
26. Awutu Senya East Municipality.
In the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, the following areas are affected:
1. Kumasi Metropolis;
2. Asokwa Municipality;
3. Suame Municipality;
4. Old Tafo Municipality;
5. Oforikrom Municipality;
6. Asokore Mampong Municipality;
7. Kwadaso Municipality;
8. Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality;
9. Kwabre East Municipality;
10. Ejisu Municipality;
11. Afigya-Kwabre South District;
12. Bosomtwi District;
13. Atwima Kwanwoma District; and
14. Atwima Nwabiagya North District.
“This, in essence, means that everyone resident in these areas must stay at home for the next two weeks. However, if you must go out, it must only be to get essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions, or to use public toilet facilities. But, as much as possible, stay at home,” he declared..
“There shall be, during this period, no inter-city movement of vehicles and aircrafts for private or commercial purposes for the areas of the restrictive measures, except for vehicles and aircrafts providing essential services and those carrying cargo.”
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana