The Dean of the University of Cape Coast Business School, Professor John Gatsi, says the decision of government to lift lockdown, imposed as a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Ghana, is largely born out of Economic considerations.
He adds that the explanation given by the government to the effect that the lockdown was lifted based on some medical consideration could not be entirely true, considering the reasons that called for the restrictions in the first place.
“The lockdown was necessitated by how the virus was spreading domestically and that has been enhanced right now [the spread of the virus], therefore if you are putting forth some data, that data process must be transparent so that all like-minded people can follow through. But as it is now, we are not following through. We are only being told and that where the problem is”, he explained.
Prof. Gatsi said this while commenting on the lifting of the lockdown on the ‘Business Focus’ show on TV3, which was monitored by the Ghana Talks Business, on Monday, April 20, 2020.
On Sunday, President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a national address to update the citizenry on the fight against the Covid-19, lifted the lockdown which was imposed on Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi to prevent a further spread of novel coronavirus disease outbreak in the country.
The president said the lifting of the lockdown was “in view of our ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons”.
The enhancement of testing capacity, increased local production of PPEs and the impact on the poor and vulnerable, among others, the President said, formed the basis for the review of the decision.
“Lifting these restrictions does not mean we are letting our guard down.”
But the announcement has since been met with a mixed reaction.
For instance, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, in a meeting called at the behest of President Akuffo-Addo, yesterday, thanked the President for lifting the three weeks partial lockdown in parts of the country.
He says “we think it is the right thing to do, given the dire economic consequences of prolonged restriction.”
Prof. Gatsi says while he acknowledged that a combination of other factors may have informed the decision to lift the lockdown, he however believes that the restriction was eased to simply to salvage the economy.
“Balance of two evils”
Meanwhile, a Tax Consultant, Mr Joshua Bamfo, while also contributing to the discussion from his base in Nigeria, says the decision to lift the lockdown was spot on.
He adds that all countries in world today, battling with the novel coronavirus, are taking actions based on their peculiar challenges and needs and that President Akuffo-Addo has had to do what he described as “balance of two evils”, taking into consideration the health and economic implication of the restriction, to arrive at the decision to ease the restriction.