Editorial: Wearing of masks in public remains mandatory


The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana believes the huge number of asymptomatic cases of the new Delta variant poses a severe risk with attendant devastation than the previous two waves of COVID-19.

Consequently, it has impressed on government to take a second look at the current state of adherence to the safety protocols and also institute the appropriate restrictions to curb its spread.

According to the NMIMR, its study reveals a high number of healthy carriers commonly referred to as asymptomatic, many of whom have been fully vaccinated, coupled with the fact that the country has thus far been unable to achieve herd immunity due to issues of vaccine nationalism among others, puts the country at grave risk, if appropriate measures are not immediately instituted.

On Sunday, July, 25, the President was compelled to make his 26th address on measures to deal with the pandemic after a 10-week lull, to address the growing concerns of this new Delta variant.

Per data available from the Ghana Health Service, the President is left in no doubt that the nation is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections. The increased infections have largely been driven by the Delta Variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates, and leading to in recent weeks, a rise in hospitalization, ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths.

As at Friday, 23rd July, the Ghana Health Service is reporting that total number of active cases stands at four thousand, five hundred and twenty-one (4,521). Daily infection rate for the past week is three hundred and fifty (350) cases.

Sadly, the President observed that the high compliance rate with mask wearing has fallen alarmingly, and used the occasion to sound a caution that wearing of masks in public places continues to be mandatory.

“There are no exceptions to this rule, and strict conformity with this protocol will be enforced. Anyone found to be flouting this directive will have him or herself to blame”.

The COVID-19 Taskforce, which the President chairs, has recommended that a second look be taken at the protocols that have been put in place for social and public gatherings, in particular weddings and funerals, across the country.

Social distancing and hygiene protocols, as was required in the earlier days of the pandemic remains in full force!

Agriculture should be environmentally friendly

Some Civil Society organizations (CSOs), including the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFA) and the Centre for No-Till Agriculture, have advocated for a new policy that will gradually discourage the use of fertiliser while encouraging the adoption of agroecology in farming.

Agroecology is an applied science that studies ecological processes applied to agricultural production systems. Agroecology encompasses the relationship between agricultural production systems and ecological processes.

It includes all the techniques that allow agricultural practices to be more respectful of the environment and its ecological specificities.

The CSOs argue that the world is moving from excessive usage of fertiliser to the application of agroecology techniques which provide opportunity for increased food production while protecting the environment and biodiversity.

Indeed, looking at current trends the world over, Ghana appears to be swimming against the tide because she encourages the usage of chemical fertilizers to the extent that it is being abused.

Our entire agricultural programme is hinged on its application, to the extent that we even subsidise the acquisition of same every planting season, though it has fueled the smuggling of the commodity to neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso.

Indeed, modern agriculture, developed throughout the 20th century, has allowed to massively develop food production, but often at a high ecological cost.

Today, the scientific community agrees that some ecological problems are partly due to intensive agriculture. For example, the massive use of pesticides and degradation of soil quality, loss of biodiversity, homogenization of soil crops, and the effects of global warming are all partly due to intensive agriculture.

Chemical fertilizers do allow farmers to produce more and/or high-quality crops in the short-term, but may lead to fewer or poor quality crops in the long term. This is because of the intricacies of soil health.

Some of the harm chemical fertilizers may cause include waterway pollution, chemical burn to crops, increased air pollution, acidification of the soil and mineral depletion of the soil.

Some of the harm chemical fertilizers may cause include waterway pollution, chemical burn to crops, increased air pollution, acidification of the soil and mineral depletion of the soil.









Leave a Reply