Ghana’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) is pushing for a total lockdown to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak as countries across the globe introduce aggressive measures to stem the tide in the spread of the virus.
With 24 confirmed cases, including localized infections and one death in Ghana, the TUC believes the risk of spreading the virus within the country remains high and required stricter measures than currently being implemented.
Health officials say 575 people identified as having had contact with the infected persons in Ghana are being tracked for coronavirus.
Ghana has since March 16 closed all schools and banned social gatherings of more than 25 people. It has also been closed its borders ports of entry to passengers as additional measure to stop the spread.
But the TUC says these measures although appropriate, are not enough to stop the spread of the global scourge which has infected more than 300,000 people and killed 13,000 of them globally since the outbreak in China late last year.
“These measures have their inherent deficiencies,” the TUC stated in a letter to President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday.
It observed that hand sanitizers are hard to find and where they are available, many people are unable to afford. Water, it said, has also become scarce in communities, thus defeating the campaign for hand washing and sanitization.
For the TUC, these measures among others are not aggressive to protect the virus from further spread in the country for which reason it has suggested to President Akufo-Addo to declare a lockdown as a necessary measure.
“Mr. President, the risk of spread of the virus in Ghana remains high. We need more aggressive measures to protect the people from this deadly virus, including a lockdown,” it suggested.
“Only workers performing essential services should be allowed to work but they should be adequately protected from infection,” the TUC added.
It also advised that the pharmaceutical industry and others producing basic household supplies must be given financial and fiscal incentives to increase production.
It warned that if the extreme but necessary measures are not taken at the right time, Ghana could plunge into a health crisis as is the case in some countries in Europe which are not struggling to contain the virus.
“China, which took the extreme but necessary measures and took them at the right time, has largely been successful in combating the spread of the virus. Countries that hesitate to implement the right measures at the right time will suffer,” it added
The TUC strongly holds the success of the fight against the spread of covid-19 in Ghana depends more on the efficacy of political measures, and “we know that you have the courage to take these measures”.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana