Editorial : Easing restrictions must be accompanied by rigid testing

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As the month of May draws to a close and Ghanaians are eagerly waiting to hear the president announce lifting restrictions to pave the way for normal life to resume, the World Health Organisation is warning Africa against relaxing its testing efforts for COVID-19.

Africa’s case count is still low compared to other continents, but the WHO believes this is a result of limited testing. As at yesterday, May 26, Africa had recorded over 115,000 cases of coronavirus with deaths at just a little over 3,400.

The WHO believes Africa must continue pushing leaders to prioritise testing; and while doing that we can confidently say Ghana is doing well in this regard, since we have expanded testing to regions which hitherto had no ability to test.

Though Africa has generally recorded low numbers of COVID-19 infection, this is no time to rest on our oars but rather to intensify testing and acquire a scientific appreciation of the numbers and rate of infection so they can be tackled appropriately.

While Ghanaians are awaiting the lifting of restrictions, this Paper urges government to be mindful of the rising number of infections and tread slowly in restoring the country to normalcy. We strongly believe that the mass opening of schools at this time could be fateful, since children are not receptive to social distancing restrictions because of their playful nature.

Some analysts believe only those preparing for their WASSCE exams should be permitted a return to the classroom while authorities and the GES find appropriate ways to uphold social distancing and other health protocols, so that our children are not put in harm’s way.

Although there is a general feeling some restrictions ought to be lifted so that the economy can bounce back to life, we should take cognisance of the fact that the virus is a complex one which has the ability to resurge – as is currently happening in Wuhan, Singapore and other jurisdictions.

We all want to return to normalcy, but not at the expense of precious and vulnerable lives.

 

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