Former President John Mahama has urged Ghanaians to extend a hand of generosity and philanthropy to the less-privileged in society who are the hardest-hit by the two-week partial lockdown of some parts of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa, as part of moves to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
In a write-up on Facebook on Wednesday, the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress said: “As we have all noticed, COVID-19 does not discriminate between the rich and the poor. Every one of us is at risk. During this period, however, the poor are suffering disproportionately from the effects of social distancing and the lockdown. We need to do more, as a people, to alleviate the suffering of this disadvantaged and vulnerable group.
“I acknowledge and also commend the contributions of the many who are helping to mitigate the plight of fellow citizens during these times by making donations to health facilities and also to the poor and vulnerable. I wish to commend, especially, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament, our parliamentary candidates and other executive members for responding positively to my call to step out and show compassion and charity to their constituents during this bleak period in our history.
“I have, particularly noted a video of PC Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu who is seen personally, serving some homeless residents of Madina with bread and porridge (koko). I want to encourage us all, and all other MPs and Candidates to show compassion and fellow-feeling to our people at this time.
“Despite the shortage of essential medical supplies, we are managing to procure some PPE and other supplies, which we shall shortly commence distribution to the Tamale Teaching Hospital and other Regional facilities currently known to have registered cases of COVID-19.
“I urge all to do more. As the Medical Director at the Ridge Hospital (GARH) said to me when I presented PPEs and other items to them on Sunday, “like Oliver Twist, we ask for more. Please let us all do more!” the former president encouraged.
The 14-day partial lockdown was announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo last week Friday under the Imposition of Restrictions Act 1012 of 2020. It came into effect on Monday.
Mr Mahama said: “Following this announcement, we have encouraged citizens to abide by the directives to stay at home as much as possible in order to slow the spread of the virus and give the relevant authorities enough space and time to mount a robust response to the pandemic.
“We have noted some excesses involving brutalisation of the civilian population by some service personnel and I urge the various Service Commanders to urgently brief the men to be firm but fair in the execution of the directives.
“My advice to all my fellow citizens, whether your area is affected by the restrictions or not, is to please #StayHome as far as practicable. This will help you to avoid getting infected and also prevent you from infecting others if you have the disease. Also, let us continue to regularly wash our hands with soap and under running water”, he noted.