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Mass voter registration will lead to mass Covid-19 deaths – Medics caution EC

A group of healthcare practitioners say conducting a mass voter registration exercise as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic will result in more deaths from the disease.

In an open letter to the Electoral Commission (EC), the practitioners mainly made up of medical doctors, nurses, laboratory professionals and other allied health personnel worry that the exercise will promote the gathering of people in a manner that will inadvertently undermine the principles of social distancing and therefore facilitate the community spread of the disease.

“Voter registration is very important for our nation’s democracy and governance, but in our considered view, nothing can be prioritized over the sanctity of human life. The president was right when he said ‘What we do not know is how to bring people back to life’.

“Indeed, we cannot bring back the dead. It is this basic truth that we seek to re-echo, in lieu of preserving the lives of those governed as a first priority, and then all other things may follow. This is the essence of governance. You would agree that the voters’ registration exercise falls squarely in that category of “ALL OTHER THINGS,” the group said in the letter copied to JoyNews.

As cases of Covid-19 continues to increase in the country – 14,968 and 95 deaths as of June 23 – the group said Ghana’s already struggling health system will take a further tumble if the country’s case count escalates.

They want the EC to consider a process that will minimize mass gathering and promote the principles of social distancing as well as the protocols established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

They also believe the current register is credible and should be used for the December polls instead of the compilation of a new one which might bring more problems.

“In our view, given that the existing biometric register has been used successfully to conduct significant number of elections including two presidential and parliamentary elections, two District Assembly elections since 2012 and a referendum by your outfit in 2018 to create six new regions, we find it plausible that same register will suffice for our impending elections.”

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