Ranking member of the defence and interior committee has appealed to government ‘to listen to wise counsel’ and act on calls for a nationwide lockdown. He argued the strongest of the calls, which is coming from the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), demands immediate state action. Mr. James Agalga spoke to the media on Thursday in Parliament on the escalation of the COVID-19 infection in the country.
He noted that the explosion of confirmed cases from 68 to 132 within 24 hours should trigger the alarm bells for President Akufo-Addo to step up government action. “It is clear things are growing from bad to worse so the calls for a shut down is very appropriate and government must act now.” “There are claims by some that a lockdown is not practical in a country like ours because the informal sector is larger.”
“Therefore going into a lockdown is impossible because of the needs of the masses, the majority of who fall within the sector,” he stated.
According to Mr. Agalga, such arguments are untenable because the government is supposed to provide leadership in trying moments such as this. The government, he said, should look for funds and support the state to go into an immediate lockdown. He urged President Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta to accept the advice of the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Cassie Ato Forson.
“He pointed to the Eurobond that we could tap into funds that have accrued to deal with the financial constraints that have bedeviled the country in our bid to deal with the crises.”
“Let us look at those options and stop arguing we have a large informal sector so we cannot go into a lockdown,” he stated.He stressed that India and South Africa, which have the same societal characteristics as Ghana have all gone into lockdown.