Former Health Minister, Alex Segbefia says the government of Ghana took a gamble during the 2020 December polls with regard to the country’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ghanaians went to the polls on December 7, 2020. After the elections, Ghana’s COVID-19 cases have shot up.
Currently, Ghana’s active COVID-19 cases stand at 2,174 with 358.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Face To Face programme, Alex Segbefia said the government let Ghanaians down during the election period.
“Well, as a nation we took a gamble and the gamble was to ensure we go through an election, so people will not feel unsafe during those times…So we lied to ourselves and gave ourselves a negative sense of hope and security. Thinking it was not as bad and that it was on the decline. A lot of things were swept under the carpet as well. So with elections coming, we got away with it at a point,” he said.
He further stated due to the poor reportage on the true state of Ghana’s fight against the virus, Ghanaians now have cultivated lethargic attitude towards COVID-19.
“In my humble opinion, I think we took a gamble during the elections, and we got away with it but that also meant that when you have a certain people with a certain mindset when this new wave of cases came along, we were not in any position to let people understand that the virus is still out there and the virus never left. We could’ve been a little more careful, hammered a lot more on the educational aspect of it but here we are now,” he noted.
The Former Minister for Health further indicated that there are a lot of unanswered questions as Ghana keeps on battling the pandemic.
“The virus is now on the ascendency and this not only happening in Ghana or Africa but the entire world. And this second wave is more infectious than the first and this one seems deadly as well. The cases cut across all age brackets and that is why the issue of the schools reopening is becoming a topic for discussion.”
“You have parents questioning if this is the right time for their wards to return to schools. Leadership has some level of responsibility. I listened to the Spokesperson, and he tried to put the blame on the people. That, you can do to a point, but leadership also has to bear most of the blame for where we are now. The people do not only follow the directives but also the example leadership bring forth. I think every political party has not behaved in a manner that has helped us solved the problems associated with the virus.”
President Akufo-Addo’s assurance
Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the government will do all it can to protect students and teachers who have returned to school following the reopening of educational facilities across the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the coronavirus pandemic must not lead to a disruption in the country’s education system.
Opening the 72nd annual New Year school and conference at the University of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said the government has so far shown commitment in protecting all and will ensure that the schools remain safe.
“Today, all students in the country’s educational structure are back in school with some doing so after a 10-month break. Government is determined to ensure their safety while in school,” he said.
Schools in Ghana were closed on March 15, 2020, as part of the government’s measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.