Ever since the country was entangled with the global pandemic - coronavirus, government outlined several preventive measures to help contain the disease. Wearing of face mask, application of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, practising of social distancing among others were listed as safety protocols.
Irrespective of the situation, there was the need for Ghanaians to practice social distancing to keep the Coronavirus at bay, whether in churches, commercial vehicles and at all social gatherings.
Not long ago, commercial vehicle drivers called on government, particularly the Transport Ministry to increase transportation fares because they were running at a loss since they were practising the social distancing directive as well as hike in fuel prices at the time.
Trotro, taxi drivers to take full load
After months of observing restrictions in the various sectors, President Akufo-Addo, in his 14th address to the nation, announced that all commercial vehicles can now take passengers at the full capacity .
The decision baffled many Ghanaians with the most frequently asked question being ’ has the virus gone on a temporal break or it's still spreading very fast amidst the adherence of the safety protocols?
Are drivers going to revert to the old fares?
With the immediate enforcement of lifting of the restrictions, transport operators were expected to revert to the old fares, but alas that was not to be.
Transport operators are unwilling to collect the old fares as they claim it's their "stimulus" package and besides, it wasn't only social distancing that contributed to their call for an increment.
In a related development, however, Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has ordered all commercial transport operators to reduce their fares immediately as they return to taking passengers at full seating capacity.
Drinking bars, tourist sites to open
It seems this gesture confirms President Akufo-Addo's saying in one of his addresses that our survival is in our own hands. Meaning, one has to be responsible to stay alive in this trying time. The excitement that was greeted with this announcement Sunday was unimaginable as friends and loved ones are free to hang out and have a drink.
On the bit of tourist sites reopening, it appears the decline in revenue called for this action. In his 14th address on Sunday, President Akufo-Addo said, "In consultation with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the health experts, I am announcing the reopening of our nation's tourist sites and attractions, so they can receive visitors. Open air drinking spots can now function. The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols.".
However, "beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice."
There could be a spike in the country's coronavirus case count especially on Friday, July 31, 2020, as many people will clash at a drinking spot or tourist sites.
Churches and mosques to revert to the old system
Churches and mosques were to initially operate for a maximum of one hour per service with a congregation, not more than 100 people but President Akufo-Addo in his 14th address yesterday lifted the ban on the duration and number of persons these religious bodies should have.
Religious bodies will worship for two hours with numerous persons available just as it used to be before the outbreak of the pandemic.
This new directive will take effect on August 1, 2020, across the country.
According to the president, the enforcement of his decision should be in compliance with the safety protocols in various worship centres.