The Bongo Youth Association (BOYA), Greater Accra chapter, has noted with deep concern the outbreak of the deadly global pandemic of the Coronavirus in Ghana, and the measures are taken so far to contain and mitigate the spread. The alarming speed at which the virus was traveling in Ghana led to a partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi.
We want to commend the president of the Republic of Ghana and the Government for efforts they are putting in place to fight the virus and contain its spread. In as much as we were so empathetic and sympathetic to COVID-19 affected Regions, we thought the Upper East Region could have been spared. Therefore news reports to the effect that the Upper East Region has recorded its first case of COVID-19 have left residents of Upper East in a state of fear and panic.
BOYA wishes to call for all residents in the Region to remain calm and not engage in any activity that creates fear and panic. Rather, people must adhere to the precautionary measures and protocol guidelines as outlined by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Services (GHS) such as wash hands regularly with soap under running water, keep a social distance for at least two meters, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as often as possible and more importantly stay home if you have anything urgent doing in the market.
By this statement, BOYA wish to make the following appeal;
1. The Regional Security Council (REGSEC), the Regional Health Directorate and other relevant stakeholders must as a matter of urgency consider a lockdown of the region as this method has proven to be effective in the fight against the virus.
2. The government through the Ministry of Health must urgently establish an efficient and effective testing center in the Region because taking samples to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research KCCR) may pose some difficulties.
3. All health personnel in the region must be given the needed logistics and tools to enhance the contact tracing.
4. The government must support the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Information Service Department (ISD) in the region with logistics such as information vans to help in the sensitization and education of the masses.
5. We wish to call on all residents of the Upper East Region both home and abroad to support the fight against COVID-19 by donating sanitary equipment and logistics to needed communities and vulnerable groups in the Region.
6. Finally, we wish to appeal to the Regional Minister to consider setting up a Regional COVID-19 Relief Fund so that institutions, individuals, corporate bodies, etc can donate to the fact.
To conclude, BOYA in Greater Accra wishes to commend all health personnel in the region for working tirelessly day and night to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Regional Minister, Hon Ms. Tangoba Abayage and her able team need special commendation. May the Almighty Lord you continue to grant you the strength and wisdom to continue to fight this pandemic.
Azure Imoro Abdulai
President-BOYA, Greater Accra chapter