The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has welcomed the lifting of the partial lockdown imposed on two of Ghana’s biggest cities and its surrounding areas to stem the tide in the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The TUC which prior to the imposition of the three-week partial lockdown pushed for a total lockdown of the entire country said Monday that the restrictions have had negative economic impact on businesses.
Secretary General of TUC, Dr Yaw Baah told President Nana Akufo-Addo lifting the partial lockdown in Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa was “the right thing to do given the dire economic consequences of prolonged restrictions”.
According to him, TUC’s assessment of the impact of coronavirus on employment in Ghana has shown “mind boggling” results.
“Businesses are collapsing in almost all sectors of the economy; many people have already lost their jobs, many more would have lost their jobs without the easing of some of these restrictions,” he told Nana Akufo-Addo in a meeting at the Jubilee House.
At the time that Ghana’s covid-19 cases stood 24 with one death, the TUC said the risk of spreading the virus within the country remained high and required stricter measures than was being implemented.
Ghana had at the time closed all schools and banned social gatherings of more than 25 people. It had also closed its borders, airports and ports of entry to passengers as part of measure to stop the spread of the virus.
But the TUC at the time held the measures although appropriate, were not enough to stop the spread of the global scourge which broke out in China November last year.
“These measures have their inherent deficiencies,” the TUC said at the time, adding “We need more aggressive measures to protect the people from this deadly virus, including a lockdown”.
You’re doing what’s expected of you
Hours after the lifting of the lockdown in Greater Accra including Kasoa and Greater Kumasi, the leadership of the TUC met with President Akufo-Addo to continue the dialogue on measures by government to fight the pandemic.
Dr Baah observed the fight against coronavirus is a shared responsibility.
As businesses resume, he has appealed to all employers and workers to ensure strict compliance with precautionary measures.
“We think you and your government are doing what is expected of you,” he stated, indicating it is time for Ghanaians to play their part by observing the recommended safety protocols to protect themselves and others.
He added: “We the working people of Ghana will continue to play our role in our joint effort to restore growth of our economy so that businesses will flourish once again and workers can keep their jobs and those who don’t have jobs will also have jobs”
He commended all healthcare workers, the security services and other essential service providers for their sacrifices during the lockdown, saying “you risked your life everyday to protect the rest of us. You made us very proud”
The Secretary General lauded government’s package for health workers saying “’these workers deserve the package; the tax relief, the 50 per cent salary increase”
These packages, he noted will provide the necessary incentive for them to work even more diligently as the country continue the fight against the virus.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana