As the experts have indicated, the fight against COVID-19 is not yet won. It is a struggle that only a collective effort can win.
This is not only against the background of the fact that the global community and, for that matter, the Western European led economies are all under threat. It is also in the light of another type of the virus having found safe harbour in Ghana as we battle the original COVID type.
That we are up against another hurdle and another virus type, therefore, imposes on us a huge responsibility to go back to the basics, in containing the situation and moving on in hope, as we pursue our collective vision of improving our lives and livelihoods.
Thankfully, the economy is still robust. As the President noted in an address on Tuesday to mark the Eid-ul-Adha festival, the economy is still resilient.
Ghana was fast recovering from the scourge of the pandemic, and it was manifest that it was faring better than most other countries which have been devastated by the disease.
It is imperative therefore that we do everything to preserve those gains, which have kept investors confident in the nation’s economy, with many more intending to pitch camp in Ghana, as the President rightly stressed.
However, as the President indicated, we all must have cause to worry over the emerging report that we are sliding back in the fight against the pandemic, with more cases of infection and admissions as well as death being recorded by the Ghana Health Service.
That is a clear manifestation that we have lowered our guard in terms of compliance to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
That act of collective negligence, which is manifest on our streets and in our markets, funeral grounds and public transport as well as institutions, ought to give way to one of total compliance, if we have to win the war against the pandemic.
In the words of the President, “we can only minimise its effects and avoid a full blown third wave, if we continue to be responsible and observe the hygiene and safety protocols.”
Fight so far
As we may recollect, even with the global shortage of vaccines, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service have been working tirelessly to ensure that the target to vaccinate the adult population of the country is achieved on schedule.
That is a vital step in the fight. However, our collective security and victory will only come about if we get back to strict adherence to the protocols of social distancing, wearing nose masks, vigorous washing of hands under running water and frequent use of sanitizers, in containing the situation.
As stakeholders, we at the Daily Statesman would, therefore, appeal to our informal economy actors, including drivers and traders, hawkers on our streets, organisations and institutions as well as elders in our communities, who supervise funerals, among others, to return to the culture of strict compliance. This is what characterised our initial successful fight against the pandemic.
So far, the government has been doing relatively well in focusing on the improvement of lives and livelihoods in the hope that we may be inspired to voluntarily understand the issues and cooperate in sustaining the fight.
At this point, all we expect from the public is strict compliance and a commitment. We cannot afford to lower our guard as we pursue our livelihoods.
While we cannot afford to erode the gains we have made as a people and government, it is also important that we do not fall into the temptation of compelling government to impose another restriction on us because we have failed to voluntarily comply to the protocols.