The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has outlined 10 reasons why it believes the Akufo-Addo-led administration has lost the fight against Covid-19.
According to the party, the closure of some state institutions, the suspension of emergency services at the nation’s biggest hospital; Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the lack of isolation facilities among others show that the government has no clue on how to contain the spread of the virus.
The NDC, during its 7th weekly press engagement, insisted that the government had been overwhelmed by the virus and asked the government to hold liable President Akufo-Addo for the continuous spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.
The following are the 10 reasons outlined by the NDC:
1. Ghana has recorded over 24,000 positive cases with 139 deaths, whiles the insensitive and inept Akufo Addo-government looks on helplessly.
Our astronomically high and ever-increasing positive case count is putting huge pressure on the already-constrained health system of the country. Indeed, many health facilities across the country, including the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital have been compelled to suspend other critical emergency health services due to the overwhelming cases of Coronavirus on their hands.
2. Another fact that lays credence to the assertion that our COVID-19 fight is failing is that, the long-standing problem of lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our patriotic and hardworking health workers, who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, has not been addressed by President Akufo Addo and his government contrary to the countless and persistent assurances we have been given.
This has occasioned an alarming rate of COVID-19 infections among health workers, leading to the loss of several precious lives, including some renowned health experts. So far, over 779 health workers made up of 190 doctors, 410 nurses and midwives, 23 hospital pharmacists and 156 allied health workers, have caught the virus, with 10 deaths, while the insensitive Akufo Addo-government continues to pay lip service to this critical issue. This is sad and completely unacceptable.
3. Also, the alarming COVID-19 infections among top NPP/government officials, some of whom have died, doesn’t inspire any confidence in the ordinary man on the street, that this fight is anywhere near being won.
As you may be aware, our Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Forestry Commission CEO, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (may God bless his soul), the late Takoradi Mayor, another sad casuality, K.K Sam, the BOST MD, the NHIA Director-General and her Deputies, the Minister of Regional Re-organization, Dan Botwe, the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, The Ghana Education Service (GES) Director-General, the former deputy minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah and the Volta Regional Minister, Archibald Yao Letsa, are but a few of the bigwigs on the tall list of Government Officials who have either battled, are battling or succumbed to COVID-19 in the last few months. This phenomenon clearly bears out our worsening COVID-19 situation.
4. Again, the rising phenomenon of shutdown of key state institutions such as, COCOBOD, GNPC, BOST, NHIA, Ministry of Finance, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Education, the National Health Insurance Authority among several others, further accentuate the alarming rate of community spread of the novel coronavirus in the country and terrifying situation we presently find ourselves in.
Only God knows which other state institution is playing host to this deadly virus, and whether at this rate, the entire government machinery will not be brought down on its knees in the coming weeks.
5. Furthermore, the significant reduction of testing and contact tracing being spearheaded by the failed Akufo Addo-government, is a major setback to our COVID-19 fight. Government’s refusal to pay contact tracers their meagre motivational allowances, despite Parliament making financial provision for same, has led to the complete abandonment of contact tracing, thereby letting loose the ravaging virus in our communities.
6. Also, our severely constrained testing capacity and shortage of test reagents and other vital supplies, which accounts for the huge backlog of samples waiting to be tested at both the Noguchi Center for Medical Research and the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR), is further exacerbating our failing fight against the virus.
7. Additionally, the lack of isolation facilities to contain our positive cases is very worrying. Currently, most of our hospitals and health facilities are full and overstretched, leading to the suspension of other critical emergency health services, while our ICUs are also getting full.
This situation that has led to an increase in self-isolation of positive cases is undermining our COVID-19 fight, as the evidence on voluntary self-isolation, show relatively low compliance to safety protocols as compared to mandatory isolation.
8. Another serious problem confronting us, is the inadequacy of health personnel to manage COVID-19 cases, as was admitted by Dr Nsiah Asare, Presidential Advisor on health in the media few weeks ago.
9. Also, the inconsistent and doubtful data on our COVID-19 situation, leading to loss of public confidence is a major problem. The several instances of manipulation of data by government to create a false sense of security, instead of reporting the true facts as they pertain to our situation has gradually chipped away public confidence in government’s management of the pandemic.
10. Lastly, the non-adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols by majority of Ghanaians, particularly by the ruling New Patriotic Party reflects the our failing fight against the pandemic.
We hold the view, that the new recovery and discharge policy under which persons who have tested positive for the virus are declared as recovered and discharged when they become asymptomatic without any confirmatory tests, is very dangerous, and has the potential to further jeopardize our already-failing COVID-19 fight.