One thing I know now and with no previous experience in the city of Accra was staying safe at home and surviving. This was not self-imposed rather an imposition by the state through Presidential directive backed by law on me and other people in my city. Whilst at home during the lockdown for three weeks, I had a conviction that, one day, l’ll be out again. Today, I’m out again since 20th April, 2020 with full movements in Ghana but restricted for another two weeks not to travel outside of Ghana. A quick reminder; a virus with a global trending named #COVID19 caused my city lockdown and still determines how things should be done in my city.
In what l refer to as ‘Civic-analysis’, which looks into the following ten-points on Mr. President’s decision to lift the ban on restricted movement/partial lockdown due to #COVID19 in Ghana ;
Per Mr. President’s decision, there’s fifty percent (50%) chance of recovery of the Ghanaian economy during #COVID-19 and post # COVID-19. All is not lost for Ghana’s Economy.
It also presents fifty percent (50%) possibility of economic recession and higher new cases of #COVID-19 in communities among people, if measures outlined by the President are not enforced and people do not observe and adhere to all directives (i.e. social distancing, wearing of masks, frequent hand washing, ban on all public and social gatherings among others) strictly and at all times (i.e. at home and workplaces).
Per the decision, it shows that there’s a change in the lockdown approach from bigger cities to community lockdowns for any new cases of #COVID-19, should communities and people violate national guidelines and directives. Such violations of #COVID-19 directives in Ghana will likely lead to increased communities lockdowns nationwide. Let’s stay safe to avoid these community lockdowns.
Mr. President’s decision presents Ghana as a case study for global and other African countries to learn from Ghana’s first phase response and containment of #COVID-19 1042 cases as at 19th April, 2020.
Lift of ban on movements also means, Ghana is in the second phase of response to #COVID-19 confirmed cases recovery, and treatment of survivors of #COVID-19 devoid of stigmatization and how to prevent new cases, with higher rate of infections among people at the community level and at workplaces in the country.
Higher possibility of African approach to develop a vaccine for #COVID-19 with Ghana as a leader in this regard.
Clearly, major governance and political processes that are due in 2020 as stipulated by the 1992 Constitution have been opened per Mr. President’s decision. Therefore, institutions with mandates should undertake activities in tandem with #COVID-19 directives. They should also develop different scenarios and plan alternative solutions to mitigate #COVID-19 as highest threat and risk to their work and citizens.
The end of lockdown is an example of a strategic decision to cut-down the financial burden of feeding the needy and most vulnerable in the last three weeks. It ends duplication of donations to same individuals and communities, and poverty pornography in Ghana due to #COVID-19.
Per this decision, human resource, workplace and occupational safety and health professionals should roll-out Business Sustainability and Continuity sensitizations programs that have been tailored to meet the needs and recovery of businesses in the formal and informal economies of Ghana.
Re-opening of Ghana’s economy again and fully as per the President’s decision means, we can overcome and recover together in these challenging times of #COVID-19; Your safety is now Your personal responsibility at first, and Your business survival lies in how you turn these moments into seeds of growth to come.
#STAYSAFE #SAFEHANDS AND #SOCIALDISTANCE
By Akwasi Sarpong (Executive Director – Ulti-Leaf Foundation, Ghana Twitter: @SarpongAkwasi1, [email protected] Tel; +233-2433833966