In its Editorial of April 19, the Ghanaian Times called for the reinstatement of the wearing of nose mask as a mandatory measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The call came after an announcement on March 28, this year, in a nationwide broadcast by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the effect that the government had eased the restrictions introduced at the height of the spread of COVID-19 and that the wearing of nose mask was no longer mandatory.
President Akufo-Addo explained that the review was based on the low coronavirus infection rates being recorded in the country due to rapidly declining infections, the relative success of the vaccination campaign being supervised by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and the increased capacity developed in the public and private health sectors over the last two years.
The call was necessitated by a number of reasons, including the response by the Ghana Medical Association that unvaccinated persons still posed a risk and so even though the wearing of nose mask was no longer mandatory, it was still recommended, especially among people suffering respiratory tract infections and co-morbidity conditions, including COVID-19.
Besides, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are part of the US Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), had recommended three major tools to fight COVID-19, namely testing, nose masks and vaccination.
The Editorial then alluded to the fact that in this country, most people are not testing for COVID-19, neither are they going for the vaccination and so the nose make falls in as an important measure to contain the pandemic.
This is supported by the position of medical scientists that like other viruses, the virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing and can result in the emergence of variants that may have new characteristics with all the overwhelming risks.
The mask can block droplets from infected people’s coughs, sneezes or talking.
Wearing of nose mask, therefore, becomes one sure way to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, looking at the attitude of the people.
Just a day after the editorial, there was news that the US had reintroduced the wearing of nose masks in crowded places and on buses and trains.
Shanghai residents are on record to have had a high rate of wearing face masks during the onset of the pandemic.
Today, the Chinese city, very important for its significant contributions to the Chinese economy, is under lockdown following relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, including the wearing of nose masks.
Currently, the GHS has appealed to Ghanaians to continue wearing the nose mask despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the fact that the country was recording lower numbers in terms of new infections.
The GHS explains that the disease is still in the system, so
people should guard against increasing infections in the country.
It is probable that the GHS has been observing events around the globe and would not like the country to be overwhelmed.
It is clear that most Ghanaians have misconstrued President Akufo-Addo’s words “wearing of nose masks is no longer mandatory” to mean abolition of this COVID-19 measure.
It simply means not being forced by law or any regulation and that has nothing to do with its safety, so the public must take note of this and adhere to the latest call by the GHS to wear nose mask.
The Ghanaian Times can foresee non-compliance among the populace due to their negative attitude towards COVID-19 measures.
Therefore, the way out to address that problem is for President Akufo-Addo to chip in the appeal in a public address on any issue and reinforce it in his next nationwide COVID-19 briefing.