Covid-19 protocols which must be put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus in the country have dropped drastically even though there has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 recorded caseslately.The novel coronavirus which is a global pandemic has had huge impact on countries around the world and Ghana is no exception. The virus was first recorded in Ghana on the 16th of March 2020 and since then efforts have been made by government to fight this pandemic so life can return to normalcy.
Protocols were put in place to limit contact and also reduce the spread of the virus. Last year, government partially lockdown the country and also instructed that the number of passengers in commercial vehicles should be reduced. All of these were means to control the spread of the virus as the country was recording more cases.
When government lifted the ban on movement and later gave the go ahead for commercial vehicles to take up the normal number of passengers,there was strict adherence of Covid-19 protocols such as wearing of nose mask, practicing of social distance, washing of hands with clean water and soap and the use of hand sanitizer. This was to help reduce the spread of the virus in the country.
As at December last year, the number of recorded cases reduced and it was thought that cases of coronavirus will remain on the low and gradually will be dealt with but there has been a recent increase in Covid-19 cases which is as a results of the third wave of Covid-19 infections which has presented itself in the country.
In the President's 26th update on measures taken to combat spread of coronavirus, He emphasized on the need to strictly follow all the Covid-19 protocols so we do not return to the days of partial lockdown but looks like the President's instructions fell on deaf ears. Security services have failed to enforce this rule and people continue to go about their daily activities as though the virus is no longer with us. Currently Ghana has recorded about 5,073 active cases with death standing at 1,096. This should be a major concern but seems rather opposite.
Now in town, it could be observed that majority of people are seen without their nose mask on. Social distance rule has been ignored and most public places do not have running water and soap available for people to wash their hands. Some places have Veronica buckets available but some are without water or soap or even tissue. This indicating how people have forgotten the presence of Covid-19 in the country and the need to protect themselves.
In an interview with Gladys Amoah, an owner of a Pub in Gbawe, she revealed how a lot of people who come to her Pub to have a drink or watch football matches are reluctant to follow simple covid-19 protocols. "Whenever they come and you instruct them to follow the protocols they decline and sometimes threaten not to come back to my place and I don't want to lose customers so I just ignore but I wear my nose mask every day to protect myself". She also added that there are few people who still follow the protocols.
Speaking with some individuals about the and its protocols, Bright Appiah who is a mechanic, made it known that he doesn't believe coronavirus is real. He holds the notion that as long as he hasn't contracted the virus and doesn't know anyone who has contracted the virus he won't believe it's real.He also accused government of deceiving the public to gain foreign aid and insisted that news of Coronavirus being present in Ghana are false.
Further conversations with different people also brought an interest misconception about the vaccine. A section of the public feels the vaccine isn't effective and can result in other health problems. Another section of the public who have been vaccinated also feel that there's no way they could contract the virus so there is no need to be wearing nose mask or follow other protocols. This showing how the public have not been properly educated about the virus and the vaccine.
Since Ghana recorded its first case of Covid-19, concerns have been raised by some experts on how well the public have been educated on the virus and how well to protect themselves with much focus on those in the rural areas. It is still clear that there's isn't enough education on the virus and the vaccine especially. A lot can still be done in educating the public well about the virus and vaccine and why the need to be vaccinated.
Coronavirus is really real and on the daily bases people report to hospitals with symptoms of Covid-19 and as such there is a dare need for both government and the public to do their part in the fight against the virus to ensure that the fight is won and not lost. For this to happen, the protocols put in place to control the spread of coronavirus must be revisited and strictly adhered to. Until we can boldly say that the Coronavirus has left our shores, we can can't let our guard down.
Source: Joshua Edzidor, a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism
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