Correspondence from Upper East Region
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated its readiness and willingness to support government fight against the spread of the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the country.
The party, which has expressed its dissatisfaction with some aspects of government’s handling of measures to ensure the safety of Ghanaians against the pandemic, has said it would support the government of the day to combat its spread and possible havoc on the people.
At a press conference held at the Party’s Upper East Regional office in Zuarungu Thursday, the party said it was willing to support government fight the disease without any form of political colorisation and discrimination.
It said the disease had become an enemy against the entire world and there was the need for all to join in the fight irrespective of political affiliation, race and place of origin.
“We add our voices to the ongoing discourse over the Coronavirus pandemic, and to reiterate the call by our leader and Flagbearer H.E John Dramani Mahama, that the NDC as a political party is able and willing to support the government of the day to fight this novel COVID-19 monster that has proven to be an enemy not only to the Ghanaian but the whole world, regardless of political affiliation, race, creed, place of origin or residence”, the party said.
The NDC said though government is reluctant in accepting their support, they will continue to push, demand and give their knowledge to ensure the wellness of Ghanaians.
The NDC urged government to be proactive in their measures and accord the Upper East Region the necessary attention as it fights the COVID-19, to ensure the disease does not spread to the region and other parts of the country where there have not been reported cases of the disease.
The party lamented the porous state of the country’s borders with neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo, who have been hard hit by the pandemic, and urged the government to constitute a joint military-immigration service–police service taskforce and equip them to regularly patrol Ghana’s land Borders.
“It is disheartening to inform you that although our land borders are supposedly closed, as per the directive of the President, it is trite knowledge that they are open. We are saying that our land borders that we share with Burkina Faso and Togo are open because they are porous, and still allow people to enter our country in droves.
Our visits to all these porous borders and seeing what is happening there leads us to assert without equivocation that the actions being implemented by the Akufo-Addo government regarding the border closer are not sufficient to protect the lives of the people of the Upper East Region.
The situation has become even more critical in view of the fact that Burkina Faso’s case count keeps on increasing with reported cases currently at 146 with 4 deaths as at 9am, 26th March, 2020. The regional vulnerability status further gets compounded by the regular social interactions between us and people from Burkina Faso and Togo.
Put up an enhanced Emergency Response Team in the region and resource them with the required tools and logistics to deliver. Constitute a joint Military, Immigration and Police team and equip them to regularly patrol Ghana’s land border with Burkina Faso and Togo”. The statement added.
The party asked government to provide the appropriate agencies and departments with adequate logistics to enhance public sensitization and awareness creation in the regions.
The NDC also called for the equipping of the laboratory at the regional hospital to be able to undertake tests on potential COVID-19 cases promptly The statement decried the terrible state of community engagement, readiness and response of authorities to issues related to the COVID-19 and urged for regular, timely and proactive communication and engagement with the public to alleviate confusion and misunderstanding in this time of desperation.
The Coronavirus Disease is gradually infecting the world’s population resulting in the deaths of thousands of people around the globe.'
The disease has hit hard in the West African Sub-region, with Ghana recording over a hundred confirmed cases and four deaths within three weeks in two of its regions- namely, the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions.
Meanwhile, the NDC has urged the people of the Upper East Region to adhere strictly to the precautionary measures given by the World Health Organization (WHO), such as regular handwashing with soap, social distancing, the use of alcohol-based sanitizers, use of breathable facemasks and hand gloves, to prevent the spread of the disease.
“We take this opportunity to entreat all indigenes of our beloved Region to keep to the precautionary measures that have been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ghana Health Service.
Measures such as regular handwashing with soap under running water, social distancing, regular use of alcohol-based sanitizers to clean their hands, use of breathable facemasks and hand gloves must be a daily routine”.