Opinion: Sammy Gyamfi writes on coronavirus

NDC Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi

Folks, we need to be serious with our handling of the COVID-19 pandemic before things get out of hand. Lives are at stake and we are all at risk irrespective of our political, economic or social status.

Although it is important that we don’t politicize the public discourse on this matter, we (especially the media and those of us in opposition), have a duty to keep government on its toes through constructive criticism to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to contain the pandemic.

Countries like Nigeria has successfully contained the pandemic from spreading since they recorded two (2) cases some 16 days ago. Also, Togo has managed to contain the one (1) case of COVID-19 they recorded about 9 days ago. In sharp contrast, Ghana (just like several other countries), has seen an increase in recorded cases of COVID-19 from 2 to 6 (200%) in only three (3) days.

The fact that all the six (6) recorded cases in Ghana are imported cases shows that government has been sloppy with surveillance/screening at the country’s entry points. Only God knows the level of CV infection in Ghana currently given the large scale of contacts these six (6) infected persons have interacted with since they got infected.

Undoubtedly, COVID-19 is the biggest global threat today. It spreads very fast and has the potential to shutdown nations like it has done to countries like Italy, South Korea, among others, if not managed well. Only today, Spain and Iran have recorded 1,362 and 1,209 new COVID-19 cases respectively. Also, Germany and Switzerland have recorded 827 and 842 new COVID-19 cases respectively. This is how alarming the situation is.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Akufo-Addo government has been lackadaisical and negligent with its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Government’s traveling advisory has come too late in the day, though better late than ever. However, as we speak, surveillance/screening at our borders is still weak and urgently requires strengthening. Public education on the pandemic has improved in the last few days but still low and needs to be intensified. Provision of test-kits, PPEs and other essential medical supplies for our health facilities and workers still remain a major challenge. These are but a few of the critical things government needs to work on immediately. 

Government must quickly ramp-up its efforts to contain the precarious COVID-19 situation we have on our hands. Several countries have successfully done so, and I believe Ghana can do same if we all (government, the media and public) play our role with candour and patriotism. 

Let’s be citizens and not spectators because nobody is insulated from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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