Hon. Members, Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, we thank you sincerely for your quick response to our call though at very short notice.
This press conference is focused on sharing with you our views on how the NPP Government under Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo is failing to bring under control the Covid-19 pandemic in this country and make recommendations for consideration.
But before we begin, want to take this opportunity to thank all our Health
workers who have demonstrated courage and love to lead in the fight against Covid-19.
Many have sacrificed their lives and families to give life to infected patients. Some have even died while on duty. We indeed to appreciate their efforts and to those who lost their lives may their souls rest in peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, since the outbreak of this pandemic, government has not shown competence in the management of the virus. The first two cases of Covid-19 in Ghana were reported in March 2020.
This was after Government failed to be proactive in closing our borders early. Since then, Ghana’s confirmed cases has increased exponentially to 71,533 as of 8th February this year and records more than 700 newly confirmed cases daily with current active cases of 6,411.
At the last count, Ghana has lost 472 lives to the virus as of yesterday with about 137 or 29% of these deaths occurring only this year. The trend of infections and death is worrying and if nothing is done immediately to arrest the situation our outturn with Covid would be a complete disaster.
Information from Ghana Health Service shows that about 32% of confirmed cases now report to medical centres sick as compared to 21% in 2020. Our positivity rates for routine surveillance and enhanced contact tracing all now hover above 10%.
This means for every 100 Ghanaians who turn out for testing or are contact
traced, 10 of them have the virus. This calls for increased routine surveillance and more contact tracing before the situation gets out of hand.
But in spite of the urgent need contact tracing, it is currently at its barest minimum with government not willing to engage contract contact tracers after suspending their services in April of last year.
Also with the discovery of the new variant of Covid-19 in Ghana, one would
expect that experienced frontline health professionals would be deployed to man our Covid-19 health centres but sadly this is not the case simply because government has reneged on its promise to pay some frontline healthcare professionals their 50% allowances and the insurance packages for those who get infected or die in the line of duty.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Covid-19 situation is getting out of hand considering its toll on our human capital. Many prominent and highly experienced Ghanaians serving in critical positions of our socioeconomic system are dying – doctors, lawyers, teachers, chiefs, ambassadors, religious leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, etc.
And it is becoming apparent to all that Ghana is losing the fight against the virus due to poor leadership.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his technical team of advisors have not demonstrated enough competence in handling this pandemic contrary to all they have been trumpeting.
Rate of infections are increasing. Technical guidelines on prevention and
management are not being enforced. Contact Tracing has been abandoned.
Disappointed health workers have chosen not to join Covid teams due to failure on government’s part to fulfil its promises to them.
Public health facilities are collapsing under heavy financial constraints due to lack of adequate subventions from government to finance the procurement of goods and services. We hear of no PPEs, no oxygen for patients desperately in need of oxygen, case testing longer routine and no free walk-in tests, etc.
Evidence on the ground now point to increased cross infections among Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients and caregivers due to overcrowding at health facilities, long delays in the delivery of test results is also putting patients and caregivers at risk of infection.
To make matters worse, schools have reopened without taking full deliveries of PPEs and there has been little or no engagement with parents, teachers and other stakeholders on how to manage the schools all leading to outbreaks of infections in some senior high schools across the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a vacuum in the public space as to how to address our current situation because government has not also put adequate resources on public education of Covid-19, Media houses are using their resources to educate the public as a corporate social responsibility,
Also, the manner in which government managed donations from Corporate and other benevolent individuals and organisation as well as government’s glaring lack of support to health facilities has caused many donors to withdraw their support for the fight against the virus.
All these point to the gross incompetence of our government in addressing the Covid-19 challenge in Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, although there is more than enough reason to weep we will not end this as a statement of lamentations. We have a few recommendations that we believed if implemented will go a long way to stem the tide of failures in the management of Covid-19 in Ghana,
- Government should as a matter of urgency dissolve the Technical Advisory Team formed in 2020 and recompose a Technical Team that is multidisciplinary and non-partisan, competent enough to direct on the management of Covid-19 in the country.
- Government should release enough funds to the Regional and District Health Teams to enhance contact tracing and case testing and pay all the monies promised Health workers.
- As a matter of urgency expand more management facilities and build capacity to handle the many severe cases that are likely to be confirmed.
- Schools should be adequately resourced and supported to make the
environment safe from Covid-19.
- The media should be considered by the Government and given enough
financial and other resources to enable them carry out public education on Covid-19.
- We entreat all people living in Ghana to strictly comply with the Covid-19
safety protocols to prevent further spread of the infection.
- Government should ensure that protocols relating to the discharge of deceased Covid-19 patients should be strictly enforced to reduce the potential of increasing the community spread of the virus.
In conclusion, with the upsurge in Covid-19 cases Ghana, we urge the
Government to show seriousness, evaluate and review the management of the pandemic in this country. Thank you.