The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo of being behind the reasons why the country is currently losing the fight against COVID-19.
The party believes Ghana is fast losing the COVID-19 fight because the Akufo-Addo-led administration is paying what it calls lip service to the fight against the virus.
Addressing the Media in Accra today, July 13, 2020, National Communication Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi outlined what he described as “10 sins of President Akufo-Addo that have brought us here.”
Mr. Gyamfi said some of the “sins” included the failure of President Akufo-Addo to close the country’s borders on time and the “poor management of the Coronavirus Alleviation program.”
Below are the 10 sins outlined by Sammy Gyamfi:
1. Firstly, President Akufo Addo’s refusal to close our borders and airport, as well as adopt containment measures on time, is the main reason why we find ourselves in this severe and alarming COVID-19 malaise. This is grounded by the high number of imported cases that precipitated the astronomical community spread of the virus across the country, due to the lack of implementation of any proper containment measures right from the outset.
It would be recalled that President Akufo-Addo ignored all calls for him to close our borders and airport from health professionals, the NDC and other citizens, and rather went frolicking in Europe at a time the coronavirus was ravaging several European and western nations. In fact, you would recall that it was upon his return from that unproductive European tour, that one of our very first cases was recorded by a high-ranking diplomat, specifically the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, who was with the President in Norway.
2. Secondly, government’s poor management of the Coronavirus Alleviation program, including misappropriation of relief funds, particularly free food and water distribution to the vulnerable, which led to a premature easing of lockdown restrictions on the basis of political reasons other than medical, epidemiological or any scientific considerations, further worsened our wobbly COVID-19 fight.
3. Thirdly, government’s failure to adopt mass/community testing and to resolve our inefficient testing regime is part of the reasons why we find ourselves in this quagmire. In fact, the problem of the delayed release of test results, as a result of lack of PCR test kits, reagents among others, still remains a major challenge.
4. Also, the non-payment of contact tracers by the Akufo Addo-government, leading to strike actions by the poor workers who have placed their lives at risk and those of their families for our collective good. As I have already indicated, this is very unacceptable, as it betrays the lack of sensitivity, seriousness and candour in President Akufo-Addo’s promises, even in this time of coronavirus crises.
5. Again, the deliberate misreporting and suppression of data on positive, death and recovered cases, by the Akufo Addo-government, thereby giving a false sense of security to the people has partly accounted for our failing COVID-19 fight.
6. Furthermore, Akufo Addo’s failure to provide adequate PPEs to protect health workers, despite financial provision being made for same by Parliament has been one of the banes of our deplorable COVID-19 position.
The President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Ankobea and other allied medical unions have had occasion to lament government’s failure to provide basic PPE and how this has impacted negatively on our COVID fight, leading to loss of morale and medical personnel, as I have already indicated.
It is worthy to add, that President Akufo-Addo’s deliberate exclusion of several other health workers from the list of frontline health workers is demotivating a lot of our health workers who have been excluded from the list of frontline health workers. And this must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
7. Additionally, Akufo Addo’s failure to establish adequate isolation centres for the management of positive cases has further exacerbated our worsening COVID-19 situation. This is a reflection of the general failure of President Akufo Addo to make any meaningful contribution to health infrastructure in Ghana, in the last three (3) and half years, despite being the most resourced President in Ghana’s history. This has cemented his place as a President who talks much and does very little.
8. Again, Akufo Addo’s failure to ensure the observation of COVID-19 precautionary protocols during the NIA registration and card distribution exercises, the NPP Parliamentary primaries, as well as the ongoing new voter registration, despite several warnings from the Ghana Medical Association and other health professionals, is another major contributing factor to our failing COVID-19 fight.
9. More importantly, the premature reopening of Senior High Schools by President Akufo Addo without mass testing of students, teachers and workers, as well as a failure to put in place and enforce appropriate safety measures in the reopened schools, which is leading to the spread of the virus among SHS students is yet another major setback for our COVID-19 fight.
10. Finally, government’s review of our recovery and discharge policy from two (2) mandatory tests to zero (0) as a result of the lack of test kits, isolation facilities, among others, is partly responsible for our ever-worsening situation.