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Don’t wait for an ‘Italy situation’ – NDC MP calls for immediate lockdown as coronavirus cases soar

The Ranking Member on the Defense and Interior Committee, James Agalga has asked government to draw examples from what is happening in Italy and effect an immediate lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus in Ghana.

Mr Agalga believes any further delays in halting the movement of people will result in an increase of cases, a situation Ghana’s health system cannot handle.

“If you consider what is happening in other countries with very robust health systems in place…I should think that by now, this country should have gone into lockdown.

“We don’t have to wait for the situation to escalate before we go into lockdown. We don’t want a repetition of Italy in Ghana so let us draw useful lessons,” he said in an interview with JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson.

Italy’s death toll since the outbreak of the pandemic is the highest in Europe. The World Health Organization has classified it as the new epicenter of the outbreak.

Despite a series of near-draconian measures gradually rolled out to halt the spread of the virus, the country’s latest tally reported a total of 6,078 deaths from 63,928 infections, with a world-leading fatality rate of more than nine percent.

In contrast, in China, where the outbreak originated, the mortality rate stands at 3.8 percent. In Germany, which has reported more than 24,000 cases and 94 deaths, it is at 0.3 percent.

Ghana’s cases are also increasing by the day. In a little over a week, 52 cases and two deaths have been recorded in the country. The majority of the cases were imported.

Mr Agalga fears Ghana risks going down the Italy road if stringent measures are not taken immediately.

“People are being infected on a daily basis. In the whole of the north, there is no testing centre and neigbouring Burkina Faso has recorded several cases and deaths.

“That country borders my region so day in day out people cross over and yet there is no testing facility in the whole of the Upper East region so if people are infected in Paga, how will you know,” the Builsa North MP queried.

He noted that if government’s failure to effect a lockdown is due to the lack of funds, steps should be taken to find resources in the shortest possible time because the “situation is not getting any better.

“Do we want to wait till we have the situation that Italy now has on its hands before we begin to contemplate those measures? This is an emergency situation and government must demonstrate the fortitude to deal with this matter.”

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