June is too far, Ghanaians need coronavirus vaccine ASAP – Haruna Iddrisu to Akufo-Addo

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Member of Parliament for the Tamale South Constituency, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, has advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to go beyond his usual updates on measures his government has put in place to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and provide the vaccine for Ghanaians.

The Minority Leader said this at an occasion to hand over a GHS210,000 newly-constructed health facility at Kotingly, a suburb of the Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region on Sunday, 31 January 2021.

“My advice to President Nana Akufo-Addo is to go beyond the rhetoric of Sunday broadcasts. What Ghanaians want to know and what Ghanaians want to hear: when is the vaccine coming to Ghana, and when are Ghanaians going to have access to it?” he said.

“This is what the President should be responding to. If we had to continue the measures of testing, isolation, quarantine and others, what can be reassuring to comfort Ghanaians is available in Ghana for use by Ghanaians. It is regrettable that we had to be waiting and depending on the World Bank to raise money for the vaccine”, he added.

Mr. Iddrisu used the opportunity to call on Ghanaians to observe the safety protocols of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), adding that the country cannot continue to rely on foreign aid to fight the disease.

He also appealed to the President to show the needed leadership in the fight against the COVID-19.

“Even when you preach – they preach Ghana Beyond Aid – make the vaccine available and make it available as promptly as possible…I personally think that June is too far. Ghana ought to double our steps and the President must provide the needed leadership”, the Tamale South legislator said.

In his 23rd COVIDaddress on Sunday, 31 January 2021, the President said that he expects Ghana to have more than 17 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-year.

“In Update No. 21, I indicated that Ghana is set to procure her first consignment of the COVID vaccines within the first half of this year. Since then, a lot of work has been done towards the realisation of this”.

“Our aim”, he noted, “is to vaccinate the entire population, with an initial target of twenty million people”.

“Through bilateral and multilateral means, we are hopeful that, by the end of June, a total of seventeen million, six hundred thousand (17.6 million) vaccine doses would have been procured for the Ghanaian people”, Mr Akufo-Addo noted.

“The earliest vaccine”, he announced, “will be in the country by March”.

He said the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) “will use its established processes for granting emergency-use-authorisation for each vaccine in Ghana”, assuring the citizens that “only vaccines that have been evaluated and declared as safe-for-use in Ghana will be administered”.

The President reported that in just two weeks, the active COVID-19 case count in Ghana has almost tripled, jumping from 1,900 to 5,358.

Within the same period, the second wave of the virus has killed 64 people in Ghana, the President noted in his address.

He said: “As of Friday, 29th January, sixty-four (64) more people have, sadly, died, over the last two weeks, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to four hundred and sixteen (416)”.

“Our hospitalisation rates are increasing, with the number of critically and severely ill persons now at one hundred and seventy-two (172)”, he noted, lamenting: “Our hospitals have become full, and we have had to reactivate our isolation centres”.

Mr Akufo-Addo added: “Our average daily rates of infection now stand at seven hundred (700), compared to two hundred (200) two weeks ago”.

Giving further details, the President noted: “The total number of active cases has more than doubled, from a little over one thousand, nine hundred (1,900), two weeks ago, to five thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight (5,358) currently”.

“When I delivered Update No. 22, thirteen (13) out of the sixteen (16) regions had recorded active cases; today, all sixteen (16) regions have active cases. Indeed, Greater Accra, Central, Western, Ashanti, Eastern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, and Northern Regions are the hardest hit, accounting for ninety-four per cent (94%) of the total number of active cases”.

Source: Class FM