So far, Ghana has confirmed over 73,000 COVID-19 cases and 482 deaths since they reported their first case in March. When the year 2021 began, the country’s total number of active cases revealed that the nation’s cases had more than doubled compared to last year when the pandemic started.
Figures show that the number of infections increased from 1,900 to more than 5,300 this year. Additionally, the West African country has recorded many COVID-29 variants. Health officials have said the only variant present in the country is the one from the UK. They state that no patient tested has come down with the new variant from South Africa.
Ghana Suspends Parliament Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases
However, the medical professionals warn Ghanaians that even though the South African variant hasn’t been seen in Ghana, its current situation could get dire. Hospitals in Ghana have become full, and the nation has reactivated isolation centers to deal with the surge. The daily infection rate in Ghana stands at 700, and hospitals have become completely overwhelmed and lack beds to assist patients. They have asked citizens and even the government to continue following and enhancing measures to contain the virus.
Due to the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, Ghana has suspended its parliament for at least three weeks. Parliament Speaker Alban Babig announced the suspension as the cases among parliament members and staff had increased. The speaker stated that at least 17 members and 151 staffers had already rested positive for the coronavirus. These figures prompted the body of government to halt its functions as cases would increase. The speaker urged lawmakers and other parliament staffers to get tested and seek medical assistance if sick.
After making the suspension announcement, Speaker Alban said pending meetings of the parliament appointments committee would continue. The committee was formed and given the responsibility of nominating ministry posts for President Nana Akufo-Addo. The President was recently re-elected in December, and the nomination of ministry posts is a decision the parliament has to accomplish for smooth administration.
Schools Reopened and Restrictions Removed
Experts in Ghana believe that the President’s decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions in January has caused the surge in Ghana’s infections. Last year, Ghana’s government had closed sea and land borders, pubs, cinemas, beaches, nightclubs, and schools. Furthermore, Ghana restricted people from holding large social gatherings such as parties, weddings, and funerals.
But with ushering in of the new year and with his re-election President Nana Akufo-Addo removed restrictions and ordered reopening of schools. Schools and other higher learning institutions opened their doors once again after a period of ten-months of closure. With the schools opened and measures removed, Ghana citizens have stopped taking virus prevention measures seriously enough. Students in Schools and even people on the streets have stopped wearing masks and gather in large numbers.
Due to this, some Ghana citizens have expressed the need for Ghana to return to stricter measures. The President has also hinted that the country will go back to the previous restrictions as the nation sees a growing number of infections.