Editorial

Easing COVID-19 restrictions: Our humble suggestion

As of the time of writing this editorial, Ghana’s coronavirus case count was 7,616, with more recoveries, according to data from the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The figure had jumped from 7,117 cases recorded on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

The total recovery tally is 2,421 with 34 deaths. The Greater Accra Region currently is still leading with 5,331, with the Ashanti Region following closely with 1,160 and the Western Region with 395.

The figures above paint a grim picture of the country’s COVID-19 status and continue to put everyone on edge as to when the deadly disease would be finally defeated.

In the midst of the apprehension, Ghanaians would eagerly be looking forward to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to broadcast to the nation tomorrow on the way forward in the fight against the global pandemic.

This broadcast, the ninth since the outbreak of the disease has become so important because of the varied expectations of various interest groups in the country.

Indeed, the groups are expecting that their interests would be addressed particularly with respect to restrictions that have been imposed by the government since the first case was recorded in the country in March, 2020.

Be it schools, religious bodies, teachers, health professionals, traditional leaders, politicians, transport owners or ordinary Ghanaian, all have made their positions clear on what they expect the President to say to the citizenry tomorrow.

The government in the past few weeks has also conducted an extensive consultation and must be clear as to the direction it wants the country to go in the fight against COVID-19.

In our own estimation, opinions are divided. There are those who want the restrictions eased completely with strict observation of social distancing protocols and wearing of face masks, while another group holds the view that, due to the growing rate of confirmed cases, it would be risky to ease the restrictions. This group, therefore, wants the restrictions extended.

Whatever views these may have, it still remains the prerogative of the President to make the call that best suits our fight against the pandemic.

On our part, we are writing this editorial to offer our suggestion knowing too well that the President is not obliged to take our suggesting into consideration because we are not health experts and do not have all the information that is available to the President.

But we do know that we cannot stay under the COVID-19 restrictions forever and that someday the restrictions would have to be eased to allow the return to normalcy.

What we do also know is that until the disease is completely defeated, there are some basic protocols that would be with us for a long time. For example, strict observance of good respiratory hygiene for protection against the virus would become part of everyday life from now into the future.

More importantly, compulsory wearing of mask in combination with frequent hand washing with soap under running water and the use of hand sanitiser are going to be enforced if we are going to defeat the disease.

To archive that goal while easing the restriction would mean to adopt a number of stringent and punitive measures that would force everyone to comply.

Having said that, it is our hope that, the government would ease some of the restrictions outright while others wait for the appropriate time when the country is fully in control of the fight against the virus.

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