Coronavirus, I only hope Ghana learns

Sun, 22 Mar 2020 Source: Ninwienaane Matthew

The world celebrated 31st December 2019 in anticipation to a prosperous and blissful year, only to be faced with a masked virus, corona (COVID-19). This virus has brought China to her knees, Italy down to hewers, the UK in a state of panic, Ghana and other sister African countries began to… (you know what we are doing here).

In the grip of Charybdis and Scylla, a hard decision that will certainly cost you should be taken. This decision will certainly leave a scar but gives you the ultimate thing, life.

We have and are still living in a country where we try to solve problems instead of taking precautions to avoid the problems. Several “manholes” on our roads never caught our attention but were patched three days after they caused glorious accident. Petrol and Gas shells in public places and residential areas never meant anything to us until we lost dozens of lives; we decided to hunt shell owners, how did it end? The same behavior has caused us to record COVID-19 cases and several contacts who keep showing symptoms daily. Everyone wakes up to ask, “How many cases so far?” We had the power in our hold to close our borders to foreigners from high risked cases and quarantine Ghanaian coming in from those countries. As usual of us, we never closed the borders nor quarantined anyone until we recorded our first two cases. I know it would have had a serious economical implications, but what is a stable economy if the workforce (citizens) are dying?

Our Immigration service was busily checking temperatures of people coming into the country. I cannot tell whether they were aware that, temperature will only go high after the incubation period of 4-14 days. This means that, infected persons can still have the normal temperature until they show signs and symptoms. Possibly they were not well educated or were not well resourced.

His Excellency the president Nana Addo Danquah on Sunday 15th March 2020 based on the executive authority, addressed the nation on the pandemic and the directives from his office as follows;

1. All school (public and private) be closed for four weeks

2. All church activities be suspended for same duration

3. All gatherings involving more than 25 persons be suspended for same duration

4. Etc

These were the best directives to have been given long before we recorded the first two cases, but it is better late than never. These directives were not pleasing to many Ghanaians as we still do not know what we are likely to face, but almost all Ghanaians under the power of the president obeyed the directives but “one mighty” institution which seems to be “above the president and the law”, NIA keeps operating in the Eastern region (the home of the president). An employee of the NIA indicated on Peace FM interview on the 20th March that, they (employees) asked their boss on their WhatsApp platform why they are still operating as there has been such an executive order to halt public gathering, their Boss told them he has not yet received any directives from his board of directors (bigger than the president).

If gathering involving more than 25 persons has been suspended, how can gathering a whole region for Ghana card be overlooked? Schools and churches has been suspended, but classrooms and church buildings are opened for Ghana card registration. Wonderful country! Religious leaders, Health practitioners, cooperative societies and other political parties have had their say on the conduct of the political motivated NIA and its Ghana card. Your quest to win the next election is important to you, but please for Christ’s sake spare the lives of our poor parents and students who cannot afford the three square meal per day.

One big problem we still face at the moment is the laboratory to handle the test procedures of the virus. We are still battling with transferring samples to designated laboratories to confirm cases. What is keeping us to institute emergency laboratories in all regional capitals? We have still not taught of establishing a quarantine center in all regions to prepare ahead of the unfortunate. We have completed hospitals in bushes yet to be commissioned, can we not use these as emergency centers?

The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has over the years, fought for laboratory policies which has been implemented in other African countries and it is working for them. The GAMLS embarked on a strike on those policies, but till now the laboratory policies are yet to be implemented; as if the implementation will benefit the laboratory, but not Ghana.

In our health sector, we fight for dominance, Doctors trying hard to let everyone beg before the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) by fighting to dominate every sector of the health system. I am sure you are wondering how they do that. The medical Doctors are appointed by government as Minister of Health, Director for Health, and so on. They only approve what suits MDC. Ghana should consider autotomizing every unit of the health sector.

As a Catholic Christian, I believe in prayers of the faithful, but I think our prayers should be accompanied with actions (attitudinal change). At this critical moment, people are selling sanitizers at about six times the normal price, others mixing water with glycerin and perfume to earn money. Many of those sanitizers out there has been proven by a laboratory research to have no or little effects on microbes. What are we doing to ourselves?

As a citizen, I think Ghana has seen a lot from our own “intentional” errors and we need to learn so hard and change our systems and ways as we continue to build a Cathedral for God and country.

If you are reading this article, please spread the good news;

? Wash your hands with soap under running water frequently.

? Put on nose mask to avoid inhalation of the virus

? Use proper hand sanitizer

? Avoid touching your face

If you cough, find it difficult to breathe or feel feverish with high temperature, report to the nearest health


May God have mercy on us.

Long Live Gahana

#Save Our Nation Lord#

Ninwienaane Matthew



Columnist: Ninwienaane Matthew