The alarming death toll of coronavirus in Ghana

COVID 19   Coronavirus File photo: Coronavirus

Fri, 10 Jul 2020 Source: Mohammed Rabiu Adam

The rate at which death is laying its icy hands on the souls of Ghanaians caused by coronavirus is becoming too scaring to every well-meaning persons in the country.

Ghanaians woke up a few days ago to hear the sad news of the death of the Owusu Afriyie’s Johnson also known in political space as ‘Sir John’. It could be said that every soul shall taste death but that does not explain nor cease people’s mental faculty of finding reasonable knowledge on happenings to man. It’s important to note it was equally reported that other family members of the former NPP stalwart and scribe to have also died earlier.

It is painful, right? As at 6th July 2020, the case count stands at 21,077 and 127 death. Besides, Sir John's death, there are other prominent government officials like the former mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, K.K. Sam and some medical practitioners who have kicked the bucket believed to be orchestrated by the coronavirus. According to the Deputy General Secretary of Ghana Medical Association Dr Titus Beyuo, close to 150 Medical Doctors have tested positive.

Government official believed to have recovered or receiving treatment includes Hon Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health, the Chief Executive Officer of National Insurance Authority, Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby, the resigned former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Carlos Ahenkorah, Hon Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, Dan Botwe, Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development.

Government appointees testing positive to the virus is really worrying one. Could the speed of the virus infection among the governing party members be attributed to the recent parliamentary primaries and presidential candidate acclamation?

In view of the increasing in the recorded cases and death toll, several prominent people have added their voices to the call for observing social distancing as Ghanaian embark on the constitutional right of registering and voting in the coming December general elections.

Key among those calling for the strict adherence of the protocol regarding the coronavirus is the former president, Jerry John Rawlings the Speaker of Parliament, Right Hon Aaron Mike Oquaye, the majority leader Hon Osei Kyei Bonus Mensa and the minority leader Hon Haruna Iddirisu. Is it the case that we have failed as a State to ensure the health and safety of the citizens? Does it also means that if not the death of the former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party Sir John, these key people would have still remain silence on happenings on the pandemic? Why did Ghanaians not hear from them when others died?

The Ghana Medical Association and other organizations operating within the health sector have continuously express their worrying regards to social gathering like the on-going voters’ registration and the resumption of school programs from the basic to the tertiary levels for the exit examination final. Considering the astronomic increasing the positive cases and the death rate, could these be attributed to the frequent shortage of personal protective equipment? The number of health professionals contracting the disease in line of duties also worrying.

It is important we value the lives of our future leaders as the COVID-19 has started showing its ugly face on our Senior high school campuses. A clear case is that of Accra Girls Senior high school. Why did the government refuse to conduct mass test for the students before the resumption?

As people now believed in the reality of the COVID-19, it should, therefore, be a collective responsibility of all sundry to drive home the need for washing of hands under running water with soap.

It seems to us Ghanaians that we cherish issues of power than the health such that people would leave their homes to registration centres without wearing facemasks. Again, the chaotic scenes being witness at the various polling centres will result in an increase in the positive cases. How ready are we as country to avert this calamity?

Death of politicians must not be the catalyst to respond to the crisis at hand with reactionary measures but such measures should be human-centred for the future. For those receiving treatment in various health facilities across the country, we wish them rapid recovery.

Although, we have to adjust our lives in this new order. The health of the students who are back to school to write their exit examination must be monitored constantly for any signs of the virus in order to avoid digging f mass graves.

As a country, we invest in independent institutions like the Electoral Commission to combine online registration with the manual to avoid the possibility of people contracting the deadly virus. The security personnel deployed at the various registration centres must ensure that registrants adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.

The political parties can also help by educating the electorates on the need to ensure social distancing since having a voter card and not be alive to vote come December election will be useless as the exercise itself. May the souls of the departed souls rest in perfect peace. Long live Ghana

Columnist: Mohammed Rabiu Adam
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