The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday, ordered Ghanaians in three cities and two townships to stay at home in a wide range of measures that are expected to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The President who was seeking to enhance restrictive measures to combat COVID-19, made it clear that the order is aimed primarily to protect lives and contain the disease.
Our focus today, however, is on the single most important announcement that people in the affected areas should stay at home.
The President was clear when he explained that the order is also intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the country and minimise its impact on the socio-economic activities in Ghana.
For us, this is a far reaching measure that in our view has the potential to significantly impact the lives of all Ghanaians in many ways. We are not in normal times and, therefore, anything that must be done to protect the citizenry must be supported by all.
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people but this decision is in the interest of everyone and we must make sacrifices to ensure that within these two weeks, we adhere to the order by staying at home.
It is for this reason that we find it worrying that a large number of Ghanaians have misinterpreted the stay at home order to mean that they should go back to their home towns.
Our checks at many lorry stations in Accra yesterday indicate that many people are rushing back home to beat the 14-day order to stay at home in the affected areas.
This is unnecessary and a wrong approach in our collective effort to combat the virus.
The rush to beat the deadline and get back to our hometowns may not be based on a sound judgement because that may become the vehicle that would rather spread the virus into other communities and affect the people in the villages. Who knows whether the new arrivals may unknowingly be carriers who may spread the virus?
The best thing to do under the circumstances is to stay at home until after the 14-day order.
Since the ultimate aim is to help control the spread of the virus to friends, family, the wider community and particularly the most vulnerable, it is important for all of us to obey the order.
Staying at home for 14 days would greatly reduce the overall amount of infection from one person to the other in the community.
We all owe it a duty to our country at this critical point, to come together and work towards slowing the spread and protect all those who are vulnerable and at high risk from contracting the disease, by staying at home.