Don’t lift ban on social gatherings or re-open schools, borders – GMA to Pres.

As Ghana inches closer to recording 5,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, doctors in the country are urging President Nana Akufo-Addo not to lift the ban on social gatherings introduced as part of raft measures to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Despite the closure of schools, ban on religious activities and all forms public gathering as well as closure of borders, Ghana’s covid-19 cases, particularly community infections, continue to soar to the surprise of many.

Just three days after the Ghana Health Service announced that covid-19 infections in the country peaked on April 25, almost thousands cases were recorded last Friday and additional 251 new cases on Saturday to bring the national tally to 4,263.

Twenty-two of the infected persons have died since the first two cases were recorded in the country on March 12. The number of recoveries currently stands at 378.

On the back of the high number of new cases being recorded, the umbrella body of doctors in Ghana, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) wants the current status quo maintained and strengthened.

President Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to give Ghanaians update on the coronavirus situation this evening and already some people are pushing for the ban on social gatherings to be lifted and borders temporarily be opened for some stranded Ghanaians outside the country to fly in.

But ahead of the weekly briefing, the GMA is asking the President not to lift the ban on social gatherings, religious activities or reopen schools.

“The President of the Republic should not lift the ban on social gatherings for religious activities, schools, marriage ceremonies, funerals etc. Our international borders should also remain closed for now” it advised in a statement on May 9.

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Contrary to skepticism by some Ghanaians that the disease is not real, the GMA indicated the pandemic is real, saying “it is here with us in Ghana”

The doctors observed that the pandemic “is still a major health threat to all persons living in the country”.

People have been advised to wear face masks, observe at least two metre social distancing, use hand sanitizers regularly and frequently wash hands under running water, there appears to be lapses in their adherence.

“Non-adherence to the Covid -19 preventive measures at this point in our collective fight against the disease has a huge potential to erode any gains made so far. This also has the propensity to escalate further spread of the disease.

It has thus advised all to endeavour to adhere strictly to all the preventive measures and asked government to also strictly enforce all the measures to ensure compliance.

Government, it said, must also ensure “prompt and continuous distribution of PPEs” to all health workers at their various institutions or places of work at all times.

“This will guarantee the safety of all health workers as they continue to render care to patients”, the Association said.

Meanwhile, it has appealed to Medical Doctors and other health professionals to continue to dedicate themselves to the fight against covid-19 in the interest of mother Ghana “in spite of the huge sacrifices we have made so far”.