NEWS COMMENTARY ON PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO’S UPDATES ON GHANA’S ENHANCED RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
For close to three months, almost every aspect of our national life has been shaken by the corona virus. Government based on its understanding of the dynamics of the virus instituted measures and interventions geared towards controlling the spread of the virus and reviving the ailing economy and other sectors like, education, religion and social life. Many skeptics have questioned the effectiveness of government’s programmes towards ending the spread of the virus. They have complained about the unavailability of PPE and the seemingly lack of transparency in the disclosure of the true state of Affairs. This notwithstanding we have to commend the health experts and the team managing the fight and urge them not to relent in their efforts even as the cases continue to rise.
Ghana now has about twelve thousand cases out of the two hundred and fifty-four thousand three hundred and thirty-one (254,331), tests conducted. A total of four thousand, two hundred and fifty-eight (4,258) recoveries and more than fifty death. Currently there are about thirteen (13) persons severely ill, six (6) persons critically ill, with three (3) persons on ventilators at the isolation centers. Yes, life must go on even in the face of a deadly pandemic. This the President touched on during his 11th address.
He said it is critical for the government to be able to function and continue to strive to deliver the results of progress, prosperity and development, for which we all yearn. Saving lives, jobs and livelihoods, revitalizing our economy, and safeguarding the future of our country have been at the heart of this endeavor. The President asserted that “we cannot say that, because of the pandemic, we are no longer interested in issues of social justice, such as education and health. This is the view of many Ghanaians. Life must go on while observing the measures.
It is essential for residents in Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, where the majority of the cases have been recorded to continue to religiously adhere to the protocols. Having been established that the virus is transmitted through human contact sneezing, coughing and talking which send droplets of the virus from one person to another, the President declared wearing of masks mandatory. The mandatory announcement even though vital to the fight, it is critical for intense education on the wearing of the masks because there are some scientific arguments about the continuous use of the mask and its effects.
Some health experts have alluded to the fact that continuous use of the mask could also be dangerous since the circulation of oxygen to the brain could be reduced thereby creating other health conditions. With this claim, government must help the citizens to know exactly where and how long to wear the masks. Persons with underlining conditions like Asthma what remedies can be offered them?
Leaving our homes without a face mask is now an offence. The Police have been instructed to enforce this directive, which is the subject of an Executive Instrument. It is our prayer that the police will not relent in this newly assigned responsibility. Drivers and their mates should be educated to understand the importance of wearing the masks so as to avoid carrying passengers without the nose masks. It was refreshing when the president stated that our survival is in our own hands.
He explained “if we are lax and inattentive, we will continue to have serious challenges with the virus. If we are mindful and self-disciplined, we have it in us to defeat this pandemic, and help return our lives to normalcy.” One very thorny issue in the battle against the disease which the President was concerned about is stigmatization against persons infected with the virus. This is indeed a drawback. According to the President there is nothing shameful about testing positive and Ghanaians do not have to lose their sense of community because of this pandemic. Let us avoid the stigma and support efforts at controlling the spread. Our actions and inaction should not lead to worsening of the situation. It is a winnable fight when we collective lend support by simply observing the globally agreed preventive protocols. This too shall pass.
By Dominc Hlordzi a Journalist