Pressure continues to mount on the government to extend the ban on mass gatherings as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ghana continues to rise.
The latest to join the call is the Bureau of Public Saftey (BPS) which says the ban should be extended indefinitely.
Government’s recent extension of the ban on all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church and Islamic activities, and other related events in a bid to curb the spread of the virus in the country is due to expire on Monday, May 11, 2020, with a lot of debate on whether the ban should be extended or lifted.
But, BPS in a statement issued on Sunday, May 19, 2020, expressed worry over the high infection rate, arguing that the lack of adherence for the recommended preventive measures calls for stricter measures such as the indefinite suspension of social gatherings.
“Considering the dynamics of adhering to preventive safety protocols (decision-to-err factors) within the public, the Bureau of Public Safety strongly recommends to His Excellency, the President of the Republic to indefinitely extend the ban on all social gatherings until further notice”, the statement advised.
Ghana’s case count of the novel Coronavirus shot up to 4,263 on Saturday, May 9, 2020. While the number of recoveries has increased to 378, the death toll remains at 22.
The fast-growing number of cases is occurring despite claims by the government that the country’s COVID-19 cases had reached its peaked and ready to decline,
BPS has therefore entreated all Ghanaians to adhere to the various preventive safety protocols announced by the Ghana Health Service until further notice.
“The Bureau of Public Safety thus encouraged the Ghanaian public to apply themselves to all preventive measures announced by the government: stay home, avoid large group gatherings, practice diligent physical distancing, ensure good hygiene practices by frequently washing hands and sanitizing same and wear a face mask as a barrier to protect oneself and others at all times,” it said.
Having duly reviewed the response of the National Response Team, including the Ghana Health Service which is responsible for providing periodic updates on the state of the nCov-19; the BPS also advised the following:
1. Revise existing response strategy to include nationwide random testing for nCov-19, results of which should be used to inform non-prior-notice lockdowns cum mass testing of communities where disease is most prevalent and subsequently isolate and treat infected persons.
2. Commission an immediate dedicated study of the management regime being applied to nCov-19 patients in Ghana to ensure speedy recoveries. The BPS fears the slow rate of recovery may tip the balance against the health system and push it into distress and further endanger public health.
3. To fully and timely disclose key data related to nCov-19 to the Ghanaian public to enable independent analysis of same. The BPS posits that the fight against the nCov-19 pandemic is a collective one and thus must not confine to officialdom alone
4. Institute a policy to further probe/subject Brought-in-Dead (BIDs) cases to nCov-19 test at selected health facilities across the country, especially the Greater Accra Region which is the epicenter. This should enable the country ensure that fewer deaths escape the surveillance system and thus capture the true extent of the impact Coronavirus of nCov-19 on the population.