OneGhana Movement, a civil society group, wants the government to close the country’s borders in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It also wants all flights from foreign counties cancelled for the next 30 days “except for returning Ghanaians and essential UN workers or nCOVID-19 medical support missions.”
The government currently has new travel protocols in place as Ghana’s case count rose to 11.
Travellers who have been in coronavirus-hit countries with cases exceeding 200 within the last 14 days will not be allowed in Ghana.
But the OneGhana Movement in a statement said these interventions, among others, “have been rendered lukewarm in light of the global prognosis of the pandemic and the likely impact on Africa in the coming days and weeks.”
The World Health Organization’s regional chief, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has warned that Africa is seeing an “extremely rapid evolution” of the pandemic.
The group also wants the government to declare “a state of emergency under Article 31 of the Constitution for the remainder of the President’s ‘4-week shutdown’, and take the necessary consequential actions necessary to preserve life and health, including de-crowding.”
In line with this, the government is working on the imposition of Restrictions Bill.
Its purpose is to provide powers to impose restrictions on persons in the event of a disaster, emergency or similar circumstance, to ensure public safety and protection.
Find below its full statement
The Coronavirus situation appears to have worsened in Ghana since the last time the OneGhana Movement issued its release on the subject. Regrettably, Ghana has failed to ramp up its efforts to combat the disease to reflect the exigencies of the situation. The situation is worrying, given the dire warnings issued by the WHO on the impending doom for Africa in the absence of concrete and workable interventions to deal with the situation.
The OneGhana Movement especially notes that while it supports the initial interventions made by the Government upon the discovery of the cases, these interventions have been rendered lukewarm in light of the global prognosis of the pandemic and the likely impact on Africa in the coming days and weeks. This is further worsened by the defiance of the president’s order by key agencies of state such as the National Identification Authority whose actions appear to have prioritized the performance of their work over and above human life.
The failure of Government to enforce its orders against these bodies appears to lend the tacit endorsement of the president to these entities in their open defiance. The issuance of travel advisories by countries with superior intelligence capabilities relative to the disease further suggests a dire prospect about the global trend of the disease in the near foreseeable future, and the failure of Ghana to take the needed decisive action in time may spell doom for our country.
The lack of clarity on constitutional decisions being taken and the failure by the Government to take bold and decisive action under the emergency powers of the constitution undermines the effectiveness of existing interventions and threatens to endanger the health and lives of Ghanaians in the wake of the outbreak. On the other hand, this may have the tendency to risk unnecessary constitutional challenges, further risking distraction and unanimity in this turbulent and delicate period of our national life.
The OneGhana Movement calls on the Government, as a matter of urgency, to do the following in the best interest of Ghana:
- Formally DECLARE a state of emergency under Article 31 of the Constitution for the remainder of the President’s “4-week shutdown”, and take the necessary consequential actions necessary to preserve life and health, including de-crowding the business districts of our towns and cities as contemplated under said provisions.
- Order the errant institution to STOP the registrations and/or other public activities in which citizens are called up to engage in a public exercise under the superintendence of the said entity.
- Close Ghana’s borders and cancel all flights from foreign countries for the next 30 days except for returning Ghanaians and essential UN workers or nCOVID-19 medical support missions.
- Prioritize the allocation of financial and other resources to the fight against nCOVID-19. We need not wait for donations, loans or grants to protect our people.
- Update Ghanaians on the testing regime, capabilities and plans to deal with possible mass hospitalizations of the people.
- Move to strengthen national security responses in the possible event of the pandemonium and allied security threats of the pandemic in Ghana.
- Move to strengthen the production of strategic manufacturing entities.
The OneGhana Movement reiterates its confidence in H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and the Government of Ghana to lead the Ghanaian people in these troubled times. We further recall our earlier recommendations and Government’s actions which now demand ratcheting up without further delay.
We remind the citizenry that the success of the fight against nCOVID-19 will primarily be won from the discipline and cooperation we commit to the preventive measures and directives that are set. Our citizen responsibility must be our first winner.
We acknowledge the call by H.E. John Mahama to members of his Government’s Ebola Team to make themselves available to assist Ghana in these difficult times.
We wish to urge all to rally together as a people to fight this common enemy. These are not times to assert our partisan, religious, tribal and sectarian ideals, biases and differences. This is time for us all to bring together ideas and our service to overcome that which is ahead of us, for Ghana Our Motherland.
OneGhana, Honour the Pledge!
Signed: Emily Kanyir Nyuur
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