Residents in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region say political activities have taken over the media space to the detriment of the COVID-19 education for the past months.
The Region currently has 21 recorded cases of the virus with two victims on admission at the Regional hospital in Bolgatanga, which serves as the Region’s treatment Centre for COVID-19 cases.
The residents said the media space of late was saturated with activities of political parties to the neglect of the hitherto intensive education on radio, online news portals and television stations, which helped to sensitize members of the public, and reduced the rate of spread.
“The education has gone down, you hardly hear messages on COVID-19 preached in the media as it used to be. Politics has taken over the media space, yet COVID-19 is slightly taking precious lives away,” Mr Victor Afetsi a resident, told the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.
He said things looked normal as the media was not “vocal about the pandemic, as it used to be,” and called on officials of the Ghana Health Service, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) among other stakeholders, to take up the responsibility once again to remind residents of the deadly pandemic.
Mr Enoch Anyimadu another resident, said the protocols in the Region were relaxed, and recalled that in the early days of the pandemic, Military and Police personnel in the Region were positioned at public places such as market centres to ensure that members of the public who visited the centres were in masks.
“These measures have all stopped, even some places where we have ‘No face masks, No entry’ signs are not strictly observed. How many times do you even hear or see an advert or message on radio or television on COVID-19, politics is now the order of the day,” he added.
Ms Millicent Ayaba, also a resident, said “The situation is scary, it looks like we are no more concerned about our health, we have relaxed on the COVID-19 protocols. My colleagues and I still take the protocols seriously at work so we don’t get infected.”
She said “The Media are not helping us, their platforms have been given to politicians to sell their messages. Yes, it is a political season, but I think they should continue to intensify education on COVID-19 to remind us that the disease is still with us, it is not gone, so there is the need for us to take the protocols seriously.”