COVID-19: Lockdown ‘Poorly Thought Through’ – Ras Mubarak
The opposition Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak has taken a swipe at the government for its decision to declare a lockdown in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
He says, the plan was poorly thought through insisting that it will not solve any problem in the fight against the pandemic.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Friday imposed a lockdown on the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) including Kasoa in the Central Region as well as parts of the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) which includes Kumasi the Ashanti Region.
Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi have been tagged as the hotspots of the disease in Ghana.
The lockdown is expected to take effect on Monday, March 30, 2020, at 1 am.
But speaking to Citi News, Ras Mubarak said the many exemptions granted by the President is a clear indication of an unstrategic move that will render the lockdown totally ineffective.
“Before we got here, how come no plans were made for Kayayei who are now going back to their respective hometowns. We have the risk of spreading the virus to other parts of the country because someone was clearly sleeping on the job. There were other urgent statements in respect of COVID-19 and how we will deal with it.”
“These statements have not been admitted and we are here with a partial lockdown that has not been properly thought through because if you look at the exemptions basically there is no lockdown. One will have thought that people who would have been affected in the country, there would have been a coherent strategy in ameliorating their difficulties,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo announced the lockdown as an additional means of combating the disease which experts say may escalate if drastic measures are not adopted now. Services exempted from restrictions
- Members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary;
- Production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages;
- Environmental and sanitation activities;
- Staff of VALCO;
- Road and railway construction workers;
- Mining workers;
- Members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties;
- Staff of electricity, water, telecommunications, e-commerce and digital service providers;
- Staff of fuel stations; and
- The Media
What you can and can't do during the upcoming lockdown
During the two-week partial lockdown of Accra and Kumasi from Monday, March 30, the over 3.2 million residents in these areas have been advised by President Nana Akufo-Addo to only leave their homes in search of essential items or activities.
Among these essentials listed by the President are food, medicine and water.
The only activities that the average citizen will be allowed to undertake during this period will be banking transactions and the use of public toilet facilities.
As part of the lockdown, there shall be no inter-city movement of vehicles and aircraft for private or commercial purposes.
Only vehicles and aircrafts providing essential services and those carrying cargo will have some freedom to operate.
Motorists using motorbikes will not be allowed to carry any additional person whilst all intra-city passenger vehicles, such as trotros and taxis, have been directed to reduce the number of passengers.
This is in a bid to ensure appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols.