Editorial: Further restrictions announced to curb rapid COVID spread


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday addressed the nation for the 23rd time on measures to take to contain the resurgence of the recent strain of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.

He further announced restrictions on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties until further notice.

Significantly, the President stated that hospitals have become full and there are plans to reactivate isolation centres.  The President also stated that the average daily rates of infection now stand at seven hundred (700), compared to two hundred (200) two weeks ago when he last addressed the nation.

Going forward, he observed that there is a lot of work to do in coming to grips with the disease and went on to add that the current situation could get very dire if efforts are not made, both on the part of Government and by the citizenry, to help contain the virus.

Workplaces, public and private, are to employ a shift-system for workers, in addition to the use of virtual platforms for business or work. Additionally, regulatory agencies will undertake random checks to ensure conformity with rules, and the security services will be tasked to enforce them.

At the 58th Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, held virtually, the President noted that it was agreed that the cost of the COVID test for in-bound ECOWAS nationals be pegged at fifty United States dollars (US$50) at the Kotoka International Airport.

Given that the number of cases is rising and the hospitals are being inundated, it is in order that a review of the restrictions in place is taken to reflect the seriousness of the situation at hand, and Ghanaians can be adequately informed about the official position and what steps to take in that regard.

It is very appropriate that the President addresses the nation when the virus has taken another route and is wreaking unprecedented horror on Ghanaians, leaving many in a state of despair and anguish. We note that the President was careful not to announce any restriction that will halt economic activity and worsen the plight of Ghanaians in the process.

While we study the trend of the virus and adjust accordingly, we can relish in the fact that we can pursue our livelihoods uninterrupted for now. That will be short-lived provided we all adhere to the safety protocols and respect all the restrictions in place.

Children succumbing to COVID-19 quite disturbing… (Editorial 2)

While on the subject of the pandemic, Head of Department at the Child Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and lecturer at the KNUST School of Medical Sciences, Prof. Sampson Antwi, has debunked rumours that children are immune to the deadly coronavirus.

Over 14 children have reportedly contracted the Coronavirus in Ashanti Region and news filtering in from the Upper West region suggests that sixteen children under 10years have tested positive for the virus.

According to the Regional Director for Health Services, Dr. Damien Punguyire, children below the age five were identified as having contact with relatives having the virus and with the exception of the first case where a child under five had complications passed away, the others didn’t have symptoms of the virus.

Therefore, it is extremely important that while our young ones attend school, they are made to strictly observe the safety protocols and wear masks while observing social distancing. Some of the public schools are still far too congested while the pupils are not observing social distance as prescribed.

School infirmaries have to be equipped with all the necessary medication with health personnel on standby in case of any unforeseen occurrence. The case count has averaged 700 a day and obviously, children will be in contact with infected persons and could be in harm’s way in the process.

Prof. Sampson Antwi also dispelled the notion that it is not totally true that children are immune to the virus. Therefore, we need to be extra careful and ensure children are not exposed to the virus either by omission or commission.

The Professor also called for schools using school busses to re-consider conveying strategies to help stop the spread of the virus. Already, the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) has questioned statistics on Covid-19 casualties, mortuary attendants believe the number of Covid-19 deaths is higher than the statistics the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has been putting out on its website.

For now, that cannot be verified but the fact remains that the increasing case count and deaths warrant some serious attention.

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