It said given the effect and impact of the infection, it would be unfortunate for political parties to turn the issue into the regular political banter.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop for political parties on the COVID-19 in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the challenges that the spread of the disease posed were not things that had to be dealt with by a partisan group, and stressed the need for a concerted national effort to handle them.
“This is a national battle. The common enemy that we are fighting is the COVID-19 and not among ourselves as politicians or interest groups that may exist,” he said.
The sensitisation and engagement workshop was to allow the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to educate the political parties on the COVID-19 to help them to properly inform their members and the public.
There was also an interactive session which was held in camera.
The political parties present at the event were the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG).
Mr Nkrumah stressed the need for political parties to desist from using their platforms to misinform their members and the public about the pandemic.
He explained that with their large following, political parties could derail the fight against the COVID-19 if they failed to put across the right information.
“Political parties have very large following who sometimes believe their political leaders more than the experts. Unfortunately, some of the key actors who push out misinformation are politicians,” he added.
War against common enemy
In his address, a deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alex Abban, intimated that the COVID-19 was an invisible enemy which had overwhelmed even the most sophisticated countries, for which reason there was the need for unity to deal with the pandemic.
“This is a war and everybody, including political parties, must go into their armoury and face this enemy. If we start internal bickering and behave as if it is business as usual, we will be overtaken by events,” he said.
He said misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic was as dangerous as the pandemic itself.
Mr Abban said it was not the time for political parties to make political capital out of the situation; rather, they should put on the cap of Ghana and get ready to fight the COVID-19.
He appealed to political parties not to engage in the blame game but rather support the government to deal with the pandemic.
“We need ideas to solve the problem, but those ideas must not be shaped in partisanship. We should get together as Ghanaians and deal with this pandemic. After dealing with this pandemic, the political parties can go back to partisan politics,” he added.
First recovery case in Ghana
Despite the confirmation of more cases of COVID-19 in Ghana, there was a piece of good news as the first case of recovery was reported yesterday.
On its website that gives regular updates on the situation, the GHS said the number of cases had increased to 132 with one recovery, one in critical condition and three deaths. Hundred and twenty-seven cases are responding very well to treatment
Of the total confirmed cases 54, including the deaths recorded, are from the regular surveillance systems.
The remaining 78 confirmed cases are among 1,030 returnees who travelled to other countries and are under mandatory quarantine in Ghana.
“All other 51 cases are well; 14 are being managed at home and the rest are responding well to treatment on admission in isolation. They are awaiting their test results and will be discharged when the results are negative,” it added.
“In respect of contact tracing, 970 contacts have been identified and are being tracked. Out of these, 204 have completed the 14-day mandatory follow up,” it added.
Globally, the novel COVID-19 has so far infected more than 510,646 people in 198 countries with 365,322 active cases with 122,245 people have recovered. It has claimed 23,079 lives.