The decision on whether Ghana will relax the anti-coronavirus partial lockdown in parts of the country or intensify it to cover more areas is expected to be announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, April 19.
Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi have for the last three weeks been under partial lockdown as part of raft of measures taken by the country to control the spread of the deadly virus which has infected 834 people in just five weeks.
Most businesses have since March 30 remained closed as people have been asked to stay at home with only essential workers and persons requiring food and other basic essential supplies and services allowed to move out.
While Ghana’s count has since the commencement of the partial lockdown moved up by some 682 cases and spread from the initial two regions to 10, a decision is yet to be made on whether to extend the lockdown duration or to the other eight regions with cases.
Experts’ opinion on whether to implement a total lockdown across the country or a nationwide partial lockdown has been divided.
Others, particularly persons who are engaged in small trading businesses for survival have been pushing for the lifting of the lockdown which is due to end midnight Sunday, April 19.
But health economist, Dr. Gordon Abeka-Nkrumah has cautioned government against any move to lift the lockdown, indicating such move will thwart the progress made so far in the fight against the global pandemic which has now infected more than two million people globally.
“Lockdowns have economic gradients. So the best we can do is to make sure that, we get people to stay home in the next week or two. We make sure we ramp up tests and isolate people and then we can encourage the wearing of masks so that we can then come out. Because if we don’t do that and we joke, what will happen is that, we may go back again and lockdown entirely in a way that we probably cannot handled. We need to get a bit more firm and get this to work,” he told Citi FM.
With the current wave of protests from citizens in other parts of the world for similar lockdowns to be lifted, it is unclear whether that will inform the Ghana government not to extend the three week lockdown as it expires Sunday.
Ghanaians are currently anxious to know if the lockdown will be extended as well as the next decision of government on the fight against the coronavirus.
Many were those who were expecting the President to speak on the issue Saturday night but the Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, said the address, which will be the seventh in series, is rather scheduled for Sunday.
“President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo will on Sunday, April 19 address the nation on Ghana’s covid-19 situation and measures being taken by the government to stem the tide in spread of the deadly virus,” he wrote on Facebook Saturday night.
Time for the address to be televised, was however not given.
Mr Eugene stated “the time for the address will be communicated in due course”.