Minority advocates intensified COVID-19 surveillance and testing

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The Minority in Parliament has urged the Ghana Health Service not to relax on COVID-19 surveillance, testing and vaccination during the 2022 Easter season.

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According to the Minority, the government must work harder to control the spread of the virus and avoid making this season of mass gatherings and celebrations the start of another deadly wave of COVID-19 infections.

“Although COVID restrictions enacted under E.I. 64 have been relaxed, the global fight against the virus is not yet over. News of newer variants or strains of the virus are taking hostage pockets of populations in various parts of the world and we should not allow that to happen to Ghanaians,” the Ranking Member on Health in Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh advised.

He continued “Our expectation is that Ghana Health Service working with other Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MDAs) will identify major gathering areas like churches, beaches, towns (Kwahu) and other places that attract large gatherings during Easter and roll out massive vaccination campaigns, testing, and enforcement of the existing protocols.

“Government should not renege on routine and regular sequencing of samples collected at the KIA and other collection points since effective management of COVID and/or imposition of restrictions is based on prevailing information about the variants of the virus within our population and its resultant morbidity and mortality of the population.”

Below is the full statement from the Minority

MINORITY’S STATEMENT ON EASTER CELEBRATIONS AND THE NEED TO PROTECT GHANAIANS FROM COVID-19 INFECTIONS

The Minority in Parliament will like to wish all Ghanaians a blessed and happy Easter.

We pray that this season will provide the time and space to reflect on the great sacrifice of Christ for humanity and remind us to reach out and willingly sacrifice our time and resources to those who are currently having to bear the brunt of the harsh realities of our economy and to instill in them the hope of change that is truly exemplified by the resurrection of Christ.

While sharing compliments of the season, we will like to call on the Ministry of Health to intensify its efforts at controlling the spread of COVID-19 during this Easter Festivities. Although COVID restrictions enacted under E.I. 64 have been relaxed, the global fight against the virus is not yet over. News of newer variants or strains of the virus are taking hostage pockets of populations in various parts of the world and we should not allow that to happen to Ghanaians.

Though the President in his update number 28 on COVID-19 measures to the nation allowed for the resumption of full-capacity in-person activities at churches, mosques, conferences, parties, events, etc., participants at these full-capacity events are required to be fully vaccinated with handwashing and sanitizing points made available.

This clearly indicates that restrictions are being tapered down and not fully eliminated. It is therefore incumbent on all of us not to throw caution to the wind but try our possible best to prevent the spread of the virus by wearing masks in areas where we cannot reasonably determine that all persons present are fully vaccinated.

We also believe that the relaxation of restrictions must go hand-in-hand with an intensified programme of surveillance, testing and vaccination if government intends to control the spread of the virus and avoid making this season of mass gatherings and celebrations the start of another deadly wave of covid infections.

Our expectation is that Ghana Health Service working with other MDAs will identify major gathering areas like churches, beaches, towns (Kwahu) and other places that attract large gatherings during Easter and roll out massive vaccination campaigns, testing, and enforcement of the existing protocols.

Government should not renege on routine and regular sequencing of samples collected at the KIA and other collection points since effective management of COVID and/or imposition of restrictions is based on prevailing information about the variants of the virus within our population and its resultant morbidity and mortality of the population.

Once again happy Easter and please stay protected.

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (MP)
(MP for Juaboso and Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health)

Source: Starrfm.com

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