Relaxation of Covid restrictions must go hand-in-hand with intensified surveillance, testing – Minority

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The Minority in Parliament has said that the relaxation of Covid restrictions must go hand-in-hand with an intensified programme of surveillance, testing and vaccination if government intends to control the spread of the virus and avoid making the Easter season of mass gatherings and celebrations the start of another deadly wave of covid infections.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo earlier announced in his 28th Covid update on Sunday March 27 that from tomorrow, Monday, 28th March, the wearing of facemasks is no longer mandatory.

“I encourage all of you, though, to continue to maintain enhanced hand hygiene practices, and avoid overcrowded gatherings,” he aaid.

He added that all in-person activities, such as those that take place in churches, mosques, conferences, workshops, private parties and events, cinemas and theatres may resume at full capacity, as long as the audience and/or participants are fully vaccinated.

The Minority in their Easter message to Ghanaians said “Our expectation is that Ghana Health Service working with other Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MDAs) will identify major gathering areas like churches, beaches, towns (Kwahu) and other places that attract large gatherings during Easter and roll out massive vaccination campaigns, testing, and enforcement of the existing protocols.

“Government should not renege on routine and regular sequencing of samples collected at the KIA and other collection points since effective management of COVID and/or imposition of restrictions is based on prevailing information about the variants of the virus within our population and its resultant morbidity and mortality of the population.”

Below is their full statement…

MINORITY’S STATEMENT ON EASTER CELEBRATIONS AND THE NEED TO PROTECT GHANAIANS FROM COVID-19 INFECTIONS

The Minority in Parliament will like to wish all Ghanaians a blessed and happy Easter.

We pray that this season will provide the time and space to reflect on the great sacrifice of Christ for humanity and remind us to reach out and willingly sacrifice our time and resources to those who are currently having to bear the brunt of the harsh realities of our economy and to instill in them the hope of change that is truly exemplified by the resurrection of Christ.

While sharing compliments of the season, we will like to call on the Ministry of Health to intensify its efforts at controlling the spread of COVID-19 during this Easter Festivities. Although COVID restrictions enacted under E.I. 64 have been relaxed, the global fight against the virus is not yet over. News of newer variants or strains of the virus are taking hostage pockets of populations in various parts of the world and we should not allow that to happen to Ghanaians.

Though the President in his update number 28 on COVID-19 measures to the nation allowed for the resumption of full-capacity in-person activities at churches, mosques, conferences, parties, events, etc., participants at these full-capacity events are required to be fully vaccinated with handwashing and sanitizing points made available.

This clearly indicates that restrictions are being tapered down and not fully eliminated. It is therefore incumbent on all of us not to throw caution to the wind but try our possible best to prevent the spread of the virus by wearing masks in areas where we cannot reasonably determine that all persons present are fully vaccinated.

We also believe that the relaxation of restrictions must go hand-in-hand with an intensified programme of surveillance, testing and vaccination if government intends to control the spread of the virus and avoid making this season of mass gatherings and celebrations the start of another deadly wave of covid infections.

Our expectation is that Ghana Health Service working with other MDAs will identify major gathering areas like churches, beaches, towns (Kwahu) and other places that attract large gatherings during Easter and roll out massive vaccination campaigns, testing, and enforcement of the existing protocols.

Government should not renege on routine and regular sequencing of samples collected at the KIA and other collection points since effective management of COVID and/or imposition of restrictions is based on prevailing information about the variants of the virus within our population and its resultant morbidity and mortality of the population.

Once again happy Easter and please stay protected.

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (MP)
(MP for Juaboso and Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health)

15/04/2022

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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