Editorial : COVID-19’s rude awakening

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President’s 21st COVID-19 address to the nation on Sunday noted that recent genomic sequencing by scientists has established that some passengers arriving into the country tested positive for the new variant of COVID-19, and even though they have been identified and isolated, the prospect is frightening.

Frightening because it is believed that the new variant of the virus is causing mayhem and havoc in Europe and the Americas, and if it finds its way here, then it spells doom. That is why we endorse the President’s directive to the police and other security agencies to collaborate and strictly enforce COVID-19 health protocols like nose and face masks wearing in public places, as well as, enforcing the ban on pubs, beaches and night clubs.

These are not normal times and the fact that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is recording about 200 cases a day means the virus is rearing its ugly head again and something has to be done to curb its spread.

School children are back to the classroom which is quite necessary considering the amount of time they spent at home last year since they need to get on with their studies. The GES is ensuring that strict compliance to the safety protocols are upheld so there is not too much fear. However, the manner in which the populace has generally relapsed to their old ways without due to regard to the health protocols is what is at stake.

During the Yuletide, a lot of Ghanaians lower their guard and even patronized beaches and other facilities that have been temporally banned. They were seen having fun as if nothing was at stake with some media outlets reporting it.

Also, we hazard to guess that the heightened political activity preceding and during the electioneering period could have added to the present spike even though some political actors will be quick to dismiss it.

This is no time to apportion blame but to seek remedial action which underlay the President’s recent address. Let us all live up to the task of ensuring that we keep the virus at bay by adhering to the safety protocols to contain the spread.

The fact that the numbers in Africa are low does not mean complacency should set in.

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