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As A Lockdown Beckons…

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Ghana’s latest records on Corona Virus is gradually taking the country to the state of a possible lockdown anytime soon.

Already, there have been calls on the government to consider the imposition of the state where everyone would have to remain indoors as a one of the measures towards the fight against the disease.

So far, the physical isolation of all or parts of the population is one of the principal weapons currently being deployed to combat C-19 across the word.

This measure has become necessary, somehow because of the absence of a vaccine or cure for the disease, and given the incredible virility of C-19 through various forms of contact, the principal weapon is the use of physical barriers in the city, the neighbourhood and the community at large.

The Bureau of Public Safety is calling for a partial lock down of regions that have recorded cases of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The Executive Director of the Bureau, Nana Yaw Akwada, is widely quoted as having said yesterday that Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, the two regions that have recorded cases of the disease needed to be under lock down.

“Looking at the trend in Ghana, you realise that the cases keep rising and there is no logic in wanting to record hundreds of cases before announcing a lock down. We are not advocating for a national lock down but a partial one involving the affected two regions”.

Even before this position, The Trades Union Congress (TUC) also in a statement to the president has called for a possible lockdown to reduce the spread of the coronavirus to prevent the community spread.

In the statement, it said only workers performing essential services should be allowed to work, but should be adequately protected from infection.

“Mr. President, the risk of spread of the virus in Ghana remains high. We need more aggressive measures to protect the people from this deadly virus, including a lockdown if that is what is needed to protect the people”, it explained.

THE NEW PUBLISHER wonders if a lockdown is the best option now in the face of the many measures put in place by the government to address a possible case of mass infection.

Besides, the paper holds that whether to have a lockdown or not is not the issue.

The real issue is how to implement and manage a lockdown within the Ghana context.

Even as people continue to push government to consider a lockdown we must also ponder on the dare effects it would have on the people.

How do people have access to food and other essentials to survive if the lockdown stretches over days given our income levels, especially those who earn daily wages? Like taxi drivers, labourers etc. If they don’t go to work, they’ll starve. Most families live ‘hand to mouth’ and on a daily basis how do we assist them to cope?

How do we ensure that there is enough food in the system since people would have to stock at certain points during the lockdown and how do we replenish stocks? How do we ensure the stability of prices?

How many homes have fridges to preserve food and how many people can store food for a week? Can the government make food available for people locked down in the homes? Can food be supplied for a period of months in case government want to supply at the doorstep?

The proponents of this lockdown should also have in their minds the fact that: Most of our staples are perishable, the plantain, cassava, yam cocoyam, vegetables, and fruits. What planning goes into ensuring that these supply chains are not interrupted to ensure the continuous flow of food?

Those that could be stored, rice, maize, gari, sugar etc., Plans will have to be made to ensure that we have in place  adequate supplies during  the lockdown since imports will not be flowing as in normal times – we must build this up rapidly immediately after the first week.

Have we considered these and more factors as a lockdown beckons…?

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