The Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has expressed concern about the attitude of a section of the public towards observing the coronavirus disease (COVID -19) safety protocols.
According to him, most people have refused to wear face masks, observe social distance and washing of hands describing the situation as very worrying.
“The picture should give all a cause of concern, the pandemic has not been cleared, there is no vaccine to protect against this virus, scientists are still struggling to understand the full picture of the pandemic. Ghana as such cannot afford to throw caution to the wind to erode the remarkable gains made and put the nation at risk of being hit by a second wave of the pandemic,” he added.
Mr Nkrumah said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Information Minister, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide at a day’s COVID -19 sensitisation workshop for members of the Greater Accra Traditional Council at Dodowa in the Shai Osudoku District.
The programme organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Information Services Department sought to equip the traditional authorities on issues of COVID-19 to enable them to spearhead the impending community campaign.
The Minister stated that the Greater Accra Region alone recorded 23,151 COVID-19 cases with a total of 337 active cases making it the region with highest number of cases.
Mr Nkrumah said it was to reduce the risk of infection that the government was seeking the assistance of the chiefs to impress it upon the members of the community to observe the safety and preventive protocols to reduce the risk of infection.
“These protocols are so easy to adhere to, wear a face mask, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use at least 60 per cent alcohol based hand sanitiser, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, practise good respiratory etiquette, as such cough or sneeze, avoid contact with people who are sick to avoid community spread,” he added.
The Minister stated that the traditional authorities had been supportive during the lockdown and expressed optimism that they could also lead the roll out of the community engagement and risk education strategy towards deepening awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashitey, said the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic had paid off indicating that with the right political leadership and financial commitment a huge difference could be made in people’s lives.
He urged the chiefs to continue advocating the strict adherence to the safety protocols to prevent their people from contracting and spreading the virus.
Dr Aboagye Dacosta, Director, Health Promotion Division of the National Risk Communication and Social Mobilisation Response Team urged the chiefs to increase awareness on the devastating nature of the pandemic.
The pandemic he said was no respecter of persons hence the need to adhere to the safety protocols to avoid contracting the virus.
The president of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, urged the ministry to follow up on the intended programme to ensure its effectiveness.
FROM LAWRENCE VOMAFA – AKPALU, DODOWA