It’s a step in the right direction – Dr. John Amuasi

According to Lecturer at the School of Public health, KNUST, Dr. John Amuasi, and Pharmacist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr. Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, the decision is a step in the right direction since vaccines have been found and death and infection rates are also under control.  

“The substantive issues about lifting the restrictions, I think it’s long overdue and it’s a step in the right direction,” Dr. Amuasi said.

President Akufo Addo on Sunday, March 27, 2022, eased the remaining Covid-19 restrictions, thus the mandatory wearing of face masks ceased and the land borders were opened.

Buttressing the government’s decision, President Akufo-Addo stated that even though the country hasn’t reached herd immunity yet, a significant number of citizens have been vaccinated.

According to the President, “this review is premised on the background of rapidly declining infections, the relative success of the vaccination campaign being supervised by the Ghana Health Service, and the increased capacity developed in the public and private health sectors over the last two years.” 

He also justified the reopening of the borders with the claim that, “with countries in the ECOWAS Community, especially in our neighbouring countries, presently, like us, recording very low levels of infections, and having significant numbers of our people vaccinated, and on the advice of the national Covid-19 Taskforce and the health experts, I have taken the decision to revise the Covid-19 Restrictions, enacted under E.I. 64.” 

Speaking on the development, Kwame Sarpong Asiedu contended that since the death and infection rates were reducing, there was no justification to continue the restrictions.

“To be fair it had become untenable for those restrictions to be in place [so] I wasn’t really surprised at the decision and I think it is welcoming news,” he added.

He further noted that at this point in time when social-economic benefits outweigh the public health risk posed by the pandemic, it is only prudent to introduce measures in that regard “just as some draconian measures were instituted at the beginning of the pandemic when the public health risk stood against the social-economic risk.”

Touching on the issue of the land borders, Dr. Amuasi noted that the reopening of the borders was “long overdue.”

He noted that “if you look at the zero prevalence estimates for our neighboring countries, it tells you the risk is low and this only makes it perfect for the borders to be reopened.

He however advocated for testing to be beefed up in order to prevent a surge in cases.

“We need to put in measures such as randomly testing people who are coming in from Kotoka, even if they are vaccinated. Random testing at the markets, schools, just so that if something is going wrong, you can catch it early and take action, but let me emphasise that good decision to open the borders and lift others.  

Dr. Asiedu Sarpong also entreated the general public to continue wearing the face mask in spite of the lifting of the ban on the mandatory wearing of the mask.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show, on Monday, March 28, 2022, Dr. Sarpong Asiedu said continued wearing of facemasks is in the best interest of the general public.

He argued that since the virus spreads through droplets, there’s a probability that people will get infected in many ways. Hence, the need to continue wearing the facemasks.

“You have this one thing which is the nose mask which can protect you [from airborne diseases], I struggle to see why you would take it off just because the President said to do so. It’s not because of Covid you’re doing something, but’s it’s in your best interest,” he said.

“That’s why the President says exercising caution is important,” he stressed.

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