The coronavirus pandemic: Is it a drama of politics?

Coronavirus File Photo 000003 File photo

Wed, 13 May 2020 Source: Amankwa Benjamin Kwame

Assuming that (https://ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/) is the official site for the update on the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana, then as at eleven o’clock pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the total number of confirmed cases is five thousand one hundred and twenty-seven (5,127).

Case count from highest to lowest in terms of regional distribution puts Greater Accra region in the lead with three thousand nine hundred and eighty-one cases (3,981) followed by Ashanti region with six hundred and sixty-two cases (662). The central and Eastern regions have one hundred and fifty-four (154) and ninety-nine (99) confirmed cases respectively. The Western North region, Western region, Volta region and the rest follow in this relay race manner with comparatively minimum figures. The total figure for recoveries so far is at Four hundred and ninety-four (494). Sadly, the figure for total deaths is at twenty-two (22). May the dead rest in perfect peace.

Kaya Spirits

The fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana is generally commendable. The efforts of government, individuals, groups and corporate organizations have all contributed tremendously towards this fight. But are we yielding the right results? Are our collaborative efforts enough?

Being a philosopher, I am a man fasting in the midst of national intoxication. I perceive the illusion of which all Ghanaians are the willing playthings of politicians with regards to the coronavirus pandemic. I refuse to be confused by these politicians by my very nature. I judge more sanely by speaking to health professionals and not the politicians who garnish technical language in a flowery text. I thus see the coronavirus case more clearly for it is in this that my liberty from death out of the coronavirus consists. That is my ability to see clearly and soberly.

The confusion created around the coronavirus pandemic by both government and opposition in Ghana has made most Ghanaians to adopt a laissez fair attitude towards the pandemic. Instead of being on urge to fight for their lives, the typical Ghanaian politician has confused us and most people dangerously doubt if the virus is even a reality.

I spoke to some health professionals in about four different regions in Ghana on the coronavirus pandemic. It was surprising to learn that whilst we claim to be doing much in the fight against the pandemic, there is a mismatch between what government communicators want us to believe and what these health professionals have to say. According to the world health organization (WHO), on 26th March, 2020, it donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Ghana Health Service. We have also received monies both locally and internationally in the quest to get all the necessary logistics in the fight against the coronavirus.

The rather commendable benevolent nature of Ghanaians also yielded fruits in terms of cash, equipment and volunteerism. But do you know the irony? My friends in the health facilities across Ghana who I trust much more than the government and political commentators claim there are no personal protective equipment in the hospitals and surprisingly, they are forced by this circumstance to purchase most of the logistics in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic with their own money. Where are the donations? Where are the grants? Where are the loans? In fact where is the money?

I have always been interested in politicians but I have never liked them because most of them have no conscience. They see the innocent die and claim nothing can be done about same, they claim knowledge where they have none and they communicate about things that they do not understand. Perhaps my dislike for them may find definition in the fact that sad people dislike the happy, and the happy, the sad, the quick thinking, the sedate and the careless, the busy and industrious. Must we wait for more people to die before we release the logistics and monies for the purposes they are meant for?

On another stage is the opposition parties. Instead of complementing the efforts of government, they have blinded themselves to see no good, say all evil and hear all evil. The opposition parties or should I rather say party by positioning itself to report and draw attention to only issues that concern their winning back political power are in a state of animated suspension. They neither help nor worsen the case of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.

They create confusion in unimaginable ways because they disagree with government when they should not and agrees with government when they should in fact disagree. The mistrust and confusion in this state of affairs can only warrant a laissez fair attitude of citizens already bedevilled with economic and financial problems. According to the daily graphic report of 7th May, 2020 entitled ‘minority blames high Covid-19 infections in Ghana on Akufo Addo’s Europe tours’ the minority in parliament trivializes the whole debate on Covid-19 by blaming it on president AkufoAddo’s tour of Europe. Really? Is this not a publicity stunt designed to attract the public’s attention with no substance?

The sword of death carried by the coronavirus pandemic has no party and knows no party member, it has no ethnicity and is not a member of any tribe, it knows not the differences between the poor and the rich and has no regards for them. We are not in normal times and so at this time, we must abandon the normal political strategy of speaking with hot water in the mouth. It is the time of survival and rather uniquely, our survival depends on collaboration. The culture of creating a political point from every serious national discourse cannot and should not be applied in the case of the coronavirus pandemic. We are now afloat on the high seas and we must work together to survive or perish.

Government as a matter of necessity and urgency must allow only health professionals to speak and handle issues of COVID-19. The government should release all monies and logistics to the appropriate institutions to sustain the fight against the pandemic. The opposition, on the other hand, must be circumspect, speaking only when it is necessary to do so and enlightening the citizens instead of confusing them. The opposition party must collaborate and help the government in this endeavour for we either win together or lose as a country.

Individuals, groups and organizations must put life above profit. We must all observe the directives by the world health organization and other authorities. This is no time for jokes, it is time for seriousness.

Columnist: Amankwa Benjamin Kwame