The Eastern regional branch of the main opposition NDC has attributed the seeming rapid spread of coronavirus in the region to the activities of the National Identification Authority (NIA).
According to the party, the refusal of the NIA to immediately stop the mass registration exercise in the region after the Presidential directive on public gathering has contributed to the spike in cases.
The claim comes in the wake of sudden of cases in the Eastern region. The cases are predominantly among some construction workers after an expatriate returned to the site. There are currently 28 cases in the region.
In a statement, the regional branch said: “Failure by President Akufo-Addo to advise his appointee, Ken Attafuah to suspend the exercise has yielded a scary result in the Eastern Region making life uncomfortable for dwellers in the Lower Manya and surrounding Districts.
“A number of the railway workers in Belokope Quarters who have been infected by the disease were spotted at New Covenant Apostle Church, a registration centre of the Ahodwo Electoral Area in the Lower Manya District. There is also the suspicion and possibility that some moved to the nearby registration centres such as E .P Kpong Church and Kpong Presby Centres”.
Ghana currently has 408 cases of covid-19.
Below are details of the statement by the Eastern NDC
Eastern Region Demands Mass Testing And More Isolation Centres To Contain The Outspread Of The Novel Coronavirus.
We have noted with grave concern the outspread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic in the Eastern Region. Within a spate of two days the cases has risen from 1 to 28 confirmed cases with the Lower Manya being the epicenter in the region.
The Eastern Region had not known or recorded any case after president Akufo-Addo gave the directives which were considered by many others as measures to mitigate or contain the deadly pandemic from further spread.
All public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities such worships in Churches and Mosques were all halted for the next four weeks. Basic Schools, Senior High Schools and Universities were also shut down.
We were, however, shocked why the National Identification Authority ignored the president’s directives with impunity to continue with the ongoing Ghana Card registration in the Eastern Region. The exercise as we all witnessed was one that brought people together and all the registration centres were overcrowded including the aged, sick and disabled.
The same registration equipments such as fingerprint scanners were shared by all persons who turned up to register.
Failure by president Akufo-Addo to advise his appointee, Ken Attafuah to suspend the exercise has yielded a scary result in the Eastern Region making life uncomfortable for dwellers in the Lower Manya and surrounding Districts.
A number of the railway workers in Belokope Quarters who have been infected by the disease were spotted at New Covenant Apostle Church, a registration centre of the Ahodwo Electoral Area in the Lower Manya District. There is also the suspicion and possibility that some moved to the nearby registration centres such as E .P Kpong Church and Kpong Presby Centres.
After the news broke whilst they were suppose to be on self quarantine, a number of them were seen frolicking with their girlfriends in beer bars and pubs in the district raising a suspicion that they might have spread the disease through numerous chains of contacts.
This has created fear in the adjoining and Contiguous Districts such as Upper Manya, Yilo, Asuogyaman, Okere, Akropong and New Juaben North and South, because of daily trade across these districts by traders who might not know who has it or who has not the disease.
We deemed it as an act of irresponsibility on the part of president Akufo-Addo not to have called his appointee Ken Attafuah who turned a deaf ear to all experts advise to suspend the exercise when even HE, the president, had announced that we were not in normal times.
We also want to clearly state that, Ken Attafuah was acting according to the orders of president Akufo-Addo in his bid to seek re-election through the use of Ghana Card, to compile the New Voters Register as announced by the Electoral Commissioner without recourse to the safety of the electorate in the wake of the COVID-19. This was evident in the defence of the Attorney General and NIA against the injunction application by two selfless citizens, in particular one from the Krobo area.
Be as it may, We call on the Akufo-Addo government to as a matter of urgency start mass testing in the Eastern Region, most especially, in the affected areas, as an appropriate measure to contain the Coronavirus from further spread.
Eastern Regional Communications Officer (NDC)
11th April, 2020