Time to strictly enforce wearing of mask to combat COVID-19

At the weekend, two things happened that caught our attention that must not be allowed to pass without comment.

The first one was Ghana’s COVID-19 recovery rate which peaked from 4,548 to 10, 074 which was attributed to the amendment of the Ghana Health Service’s national discharge policy.

The policy which is in conformity with the World Health Organisation guidelines, allows for asymptomatic patients who are admitted to go home 14 days after treatment without a second test.

It says that for asymptomatic patients, if they respond to treatment 14 days after testing positive, they must be discharged after a further three days without showing any symptoms.

However, a second test would be conducted on discharged patients from home.

The second event that caught our attention relative to the fight against COVID-19 was the Parliamentary primaries that were held by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the weekend.

During the primaries, it was observed that some of the delegates were without face masks and they did not adhere to social distancing protocols. 

This was clearly against the directive that everyone in a public place must compulsorily wear a nose/face mask and offenders would be liable to a fine or 10 years imprisonment.

It was, therefore, strange that many of these delegates in such public places did not adhere to the health protocols.

The Ghanaian Times has put these two events together to buttress the fact that, there is a lot of anxiety among the populace over the events that took place in the country during this difficult period.

While a lot of people expressed surprise at the sudden jump in the recovery numbers, many of who do not fully understand the reason for the recoveries, others, were worried that the non observance of the health protocols could also spike the numbers.

Our concern is that, if the safety protocols are not enforced by the security apparatus, it is likely that we would live with the confusion and not fight the disease the way we should.

We are of the view that apart from public education to educate everyone about policies regarding COVID-19, there is the need to strictly enforce wearing of mask and observance of social distancing.

The national case count of the disease has now exceeded 13,000 cases, according to the Ghana Health Service and we are still counting.

We should, therefore, not take lightly the effort that all of us have to make in fighting the disease.

It is a fact that we are not living in normal times and that living under strict conditions may take some time for everyone to comply.

But it would be wrong if we all assume that everyone would fall in line without been forced to do so.

We, therefore, urge the government to task the security agencies to enforce the wearing of nose mask in public places in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

In addition, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) should also strictly enforce the mandatory wearing of nose masks within their jurisdictions in order to stop the community spread of the disease.

It is our humble view that it is time for the strict enforcement of wearing of mask in the country.

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