Fear has gripped some residents of Obuasi who are calling for a lockdown, amid increasing cases of Covid-19, as health authorities highlight challenges to halting the spread.
They believe further delayed action can worsen the mining’s town’s case count which is currently the highest in the Ashanti Region.
Their posture is a departure from the attitude of some people in the municipality who think Covid-19 is nothing to worry about.
Residents say it is time for authorities to act and people to change their lifestyle.
Isaac Essuman, a resident of Tutuka suburb least expected Covid-19 cases to see an upsurge after the area recorded its first case about two months ago.
“When the cases started coming, we never expected this. Obuasi we know we are safe but just one week time, we started confirming cases and for about one week, we have confirmed about 256 cases so it’s dangerous living in Obuasi for now,” he said.
For him, the best way to bring the situation under control is to lock the entire area down.
“I never understand why Obuasi was not part of places they locked down. First cases that the confirmed, one was from Obuasi.
“What I was expecting President to do just last Sunday was to lock down Obuasi. Obuasi should have been locked down about a week ago,” he said.
“At least getting lockdown and been safe is better than getting the virus,” Mr Essuman added.
Out of a total of 483 Covid-19 cases recorded in Ashanti Region, Obuasi accounts for 272, making it the hottest spot for the virus.
The town also has the highest number of over 4,000 samples tested.
Authorities blame complacency and lack of negative attitude of some residents for upsurge in cases.
Market women, especially, have been flouting social distancing protocols, forcing authorities to close Obuasi Central Market A and B to business indefinitely.
Armed security personnel had to be deployed to ward off resistance from residents protesting the setting up of an Isolation center.
Health authorities appear to face a herculean task in dealing with the human factor of the fight.
Acting Municipal Health Director, Yaa Manu is worried at the delays in releasing results for samples sent to the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR).
According to her, health officials face a difficult task of locating positive cases who after their test may have mingled with the public.
“If the sample were taken 3-weeks back and I have now had the results and its positive; what happened from the day the sample was taken and the day I had my results? Where have I been to? Who and who have I mingled with so it’s a very, very concern,” he said.
In this midst of the dilemma, some residents wants an immediate lockdown of the new epic center of Coronavirus in Obuasi.
Emmanuel Kojo Kyeremateng sums up the fear of residents. “In fact I am scared,” he said.
“Right now we don’t know who tested positive and we are all moving around. What I think is, our opinion leaders and then the MCES and DCEs must come together and then consult government if they can lock down Obuasi for at least one week. Safety first.”