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Thu, Sep

We don’t have COVID-19 under control

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We see the rise in covid-19 cases. Day in day out, you hear of people you know contracting the virus. It does not end there. It now sounds so real. And yet, the EC and the government are acting as if nothing is going on ....
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A lot is going on. The fallout from the announcement of the NDC’s vice presidential candidate. The Electoral Commission’s insistence on going ahead with its voter registration in spite of the rising infection numbers.

The reopening of school and the rise in COVID-19. Tempting as all the issues may be, I have decided to focus on the Covid-19 issues.

And I am going to do this differently – speak as honestly and candidly as I can. Hopefully, someone will listen. And the first thing I would like to say is that we should stop the pretence and admit that we don’t have COVID-19 under control.

That will be a useful starting point to saving lives and winning the fight against the virus.

Take the Electoral Commission (EC). Many have called on the Commission to reconsider its decision to create a new register.

We see the rise in covid-19 cases. Day in day out, you hear of people you know contracting the virus. It does not end there. It now sounds so real. And yet, the EC and the government are acting as if nothing is going on – as if these are normal times. Need I mention that these are not normal times?

We are not a researching nation. We have not poured a lot of resources into that area. Whatever we think we know about the virus has been handed down to us by some foreign expert.

But to be fair, nobody really understands the nature and ways of this particular virus. It seems to have a mind of its own.

New evidence shows that the infection is airborne – contrary to what we were initially told about the virus being too heavy to travel long distances.

A lot of things are evolving. And in a period where a lot of these things are happening, major policy steps should be taken with care. Extreme care.

But the EC and the government will not listen. Thanks to the President and his political handlers, many out there are fixated on the death rates.

After all, in the minds of many, the President has said that the death rates are not rising that high. So, we are all good to go. Nothing wrong.

As I write this, one of my regrets is that I did not shout out to respond that the death rates are just the tip of the iceberg.

The little I have read suggest that a person may recover from the virus but may have to live with the long-term consequences of having been infected. So, there is a public health case here.

And I deliberately hold the President and his advisors to this because they would definitely know better than myself. They would know that the people who contract the virus have to live with other long-term consequences of contracting the virus.

And this further puts a strain on the public health budget and the general well-being of the people.

To the Electoral Commissioners, it is not too late to truncate this particular process. For me, we must take the hard decisions that needs to be taken now. Otherwise, we may later be compelled to take it later with disastrous consequences.

Asking the children to go back to school has also been an absolute fiasco. The President comes on television and speaks nicely. But we know, through experience that the words of governments and their action often do not match.

Aside that, we know our various secondary schools. We know the nature of the facilities available. We know in some instances, water does not come cheap. And that some have to travel to specific points in order to get water.

Yet, we delude ourselves into thinking that everything is fine and that the schools have what it takes to prevent the rise of COVID-19 infections.

Take the KNUST Senior High School incident for example. A student goes to school under firm assurances from the government, and the Ghana Education Service that mechanisms are in place to ensure that students are safe.

The student falls ill and subsequently dies because the teachers thought it was COVID-19 and did not want to go near him. This is shocking.

Let’s assume for a moment that the student had COVID-19. Is the school, the education and the government saying that no protocols are in place for assisting with issues like this?

For now, the headmistress has taken the fall, and has been asked to step aside. But the discussion should not end there.

For me, I am more than convinced that the schools were not prepared adequately for this reopening.

In this piece, I have got two pleas. First, stop the voter registration. Let’s stop it. And secondly, let’s close down the schools.

Attempting to go back to “normal” is delusional with the rising numbers.

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