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Coronavirus: Danger looms

Sat, 14 Nov 2020 Source: Bright Philip Donkor

Our commitment has changed towards fighting Covid-19. It's almost nine months since the pandemic reached our shores on March 12. Ghana’s active Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases have hit 1,156 after the country recorded a drastic reduction in active cases in the last two months. In the course of last month, active cases were in tens averaging 25 new cases per day. This is in sharp contrast with what many saw as a decline in the number of active cases. Ghana is recording a steady rise in cases.

This according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is not a welcoming development. In the same vein, I doubt Ghanaians are comfortable with this rise in cases once more. A second wave of the pandemic could be catastrophic than the first if people recklessly disregard the safety protocols. We can attest to the fact that; people are no more observing the precautionary measures. Initially, they were adhering to the protocols religiously but have now disregarded it.

As citizens, it may interest us to know that a second wave of the pandemic is currently underway in some countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of Covid-19 cases in Europe grew by a million in the short span of ten days, inching up the total number of reported cases to seven million. For example, Spain has reimposed curfew in a bid to curtail a massive surge in the Coronavirus cases. America is also experiencing its third wave of the Covid-19.

Cases have also risen to alarming and exponential proportions, particularly in some states in North Dakota. Austria and Greece in recent weeks are also having their cases surged. Currently, Iran is also experiencing its third and most deadly wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the BBC, Hong Kong is also experiencing its third wave. It is instructive to note that, Hong Kong was considered a poster child in its ability to keep its number of infections down despite sharing a border with mainland China, where the first case was recorded.

Irrespective of the above exposure, Hong Kong managed to avoid a total lockdown when most countries were on their knees. But unfortunately, the virus has struck yet again with another message to send that its dynamism cannot be underestimated. It remains indisputable that, in the fight against the virus, Ghana has been ranked as the third most successful country to tackle the pandemic head-on.

This success or commendation tickles the fancy of certain countries including some powerful and affluent ones. Nonetheless, it shouldn't paint a complacent picture in our minds because the virus is a virus with international qualifications. This is the singular reason and the buttressing fact, not only our leaders in this part of the world haven't won the fight hands down but also no economy has won the fight outright. It's a fight that's started and getting restarted yet again. Hence, our fight as a country should be geared towards collaborative efforts to defeat the virus. We can achieve this through compliance and adherence!

Presently, we can bear witness to how people are no more observing the Covid-19 safety protocols. In point of fact, both the NDC and NPP have sought to score political brownie points. The flagrant abuse of the protocols exacerbated by the recent political campaigns and rallies - where only some few people, including leaders of the respective parties, are normally seen wearing their masks is appalling.

Bipartisanship and collective political spirit have gone missing in the face of a stark need to take steps to deal with the crisis at hand. We live in a country in which life is an opportunity cost to politics. Political opportunism needs to be checked.

In all honesty, the current lukewarm attitude by people in connection with the observance of the protocols, is worrying, especially at public places and social events. Many Ghanaians have now stopped wearing nose masks and also abiding by the other related preventive measures.

Many people are ignoring the advice for adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocols, particularly the wearing of face masks in public. The general excuse is that the virus has been conquered and, therefore, posed no further threat. That development poses a threat to the strides made in the fight against Covid-19, and the fear in some circles is that Ghana could experience a resurgence in active cases if the protocols continue to be disregarded.

In the midst of numerous political activities, the political actors must strictly adhere to the Covid-19 protocols. A collective and collaborative will is urgently required, along with greater cooperation between the NDC and NPP, to deal with a critical stage in the transmission of the virus. No political party should sacrifice the interest and health of the nation for their own parochial or selfish interests. The staunch party sympathizers shouldn't throw caution to the wind in the name of politics. Know that, God has given you a sense of reason for a reason. Be guided by the fact that, Ghana is bigger than any political party.

If we do our part and continue to ask for God's protection and intervention, then we don't have to go the same way as Europe and America. Let's continue to adhere to the safety protocols instituted to stem the spread of the Covid-19. For with such exercise of caution, we shall entirely conquer the virus. This will go a long way to quicken the pace of our march towards the complete eradication and extinction of this deadly bioweapon, Covid-19. Cases are steadily rising but still, Ghana will rise.

Columnist: Bright Philip Donkor
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