The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has identified family ties, familiarity among relatives and friends as a major challenge confronting the efforts at fighting the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease.
"In spite of the education and sensitization being carried out, and the huge numbers of people who are aware of the virus, many still find it difficult to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols due to familiarity".
Mr Mawuli Agbenu, the Deputy Director, Research, Gender and Equality of the NCCE, said some of the people especially in the rural communities were not adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, particularly wearing of nose masks and social distancing because they felt they were too familiar with each other and the virus could not spread among them.
Mr Agbenu made these observations in Bolgatanga whilst in the Upper East Region to monitor the COVID-19 education and awareness campaign being carried out across the districts by the Commission.
The Deputy Director called for sustained education from all stakeholders to demystify the misconception surrounding the spread of the virus, to ensure that people's behaviour was changed, to help defeat the pandemic.
He said the people were educated on the pandemic and the safety measures being championed by the Commission and other stakeholders.
He said lack of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as nose masks and alcohol based hand sanitizers among the people were also identified as major challenges facing the fight against the spread of the virus particular in the communities.
"One of the things we have realized is that some of the people do not have the PPE, some are able to get the nose masks but for the hand sanitizers, they are not able to afford because it is expensive," he added.
The Deputy Director encouraged the residents to regularly wash their hands with soap under running water as alternatives to the hand sanitizers and observe the physical distancing protocols to ensure the virus did not spread.
He advised members of the public to desist from stigmatizing suspected, infected and recovered COVID-19 people, to ensure people showing symptoms of the virus did not shy away from coming forth for testing.
Mr Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, the Upper East Regional Director of NCCE, said the COVID-19 awareness campaign was being supported by the European Union through its Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP) on the theme, "Environmental governance and COVID-19."
The Regional Director urged members of the public to practise good personal hygiene as it was one of the major tools to fight the virus.
Mr Apaabey said, "It is the duty of every citizen to respect the rights, freedom and legitimate interest of others and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons."
The Deputy Director visited and interacted with various identified groups in some communities in Bolgatanga Municipality, Bongo, Nabdam and Bolgatanga East Districts.