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General News of Saturday, 26 December 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2020 in Review: Biggest losers in the face of the coronavirus pandemic

Never has the world been through a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects until late 2019. This was when the virus that originated in China started spreading at a rate that saw its categorization by the World Health Organisation (WHO) change from an epidemic to a global pandemic in a matter of days.

For over a year now, not only has over 78 million cases of COVID-19 been recorded; it has also caused the death of over 1.7 million citizens of the world.

For a virus with such a deadly effect that has caused humanity to adapt to a very uncomfortable but necessary era of a “new normal,” it is not surprising how hard some industries have been hit by the global pandemic.

Ghana just like the rest of the world has suffered its share of the effects of COVID-19 being its direct impact of over 53,000 confirmed cases and 333 resulting deaths in the country of the dire consequences suffered by several industries.

As part of GhanaWeb’s 2020 end of year review, we outline for you some of the most affected industries in Ghana as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned:

Aviation Industry

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday, March 21, announced the closure Ghana’s borders (land, air and sea) as a measure to stop the importation of COVID-19 into the county.

With some major airlines already suspending flights into the country and several countries banning flights from Ghana, the president’s announcement came as the final nail in the coffin for what was going to be a long brutal period for companies and players in the aviation industry to count their losses.

From what was initially meant to be a two-week ban, the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic compelled government to announce several extensions of the ban until six months later when the president announced that the nation will be opened to international flights on September 1.

Despite being operational for close to three months, Ghana’s aviation industry is still grappling with the effects of the pandemic as passenger turnout continues to dwindle.



Entertainment and Tourism Industry

The entertainment industry all over the world has been one the hardest hit by the effects of COVID-19 and Ghana is no exception.

Ghana and the world were gearing up for Easter when the virus struck. The government as part of preventive measures placed a ban on all forms of social gatherings which meant that the usual Easter music and movie shows were not going to be held.

Pubs, cinemas and clubs were closed down for months so artistes could not perform.

Movies could not be shot due to adherence to protocols as well as fear of safety. Even if you shot movies, where were you going to premiere them?

The rippling effect on those in the entertainment value chain has also been huge. Event organizers, media, rental companies have all felt the pinch of the coronavirus bite.
Despite some of the measures instituted by government to curb the spread of the virus being eased, it still does not look like the 2020 Christmas season will be the usual period of activeness for players in Ghana’s entertainment industry.



Sports

According to the Ghana Football Association, it spent more than GHC3million on the first half of the 2019/2020 league season which was truncated in March.

The Ghana Premier League is just one product of the GFA which is among over 40 certified federations by the National Sports Authority.

Just as the FA at some point had to scrap the season so did the other federations. Arm-wrestling, for instance, was supposed to host the 2020 Africa Arm-wrestling Championship which could have brought its own benefits.

The West Africa Swimming competition had to be cancelled due to the virus.

National team assignments which come with enormous benefits to paraphernalia dealers, food sellers, hotels, transport companies were all botched.

The Ghana Premier League has eventually resumed to a fresh season which started on November 13.




Private Schools

The education sector generally has suffered severely from the pandemic; however, the private sector of Ghana’s education structure seems to have taken a much bigger brunt.

The closure of schools meant that management of private schools lost their source of income and the extending effect has been that employees of private schools who have been at home since March have been without income over the period.

Whiles government has ensured the release of funds for some of the affected sectors, private schools are yet to get any direct assistance from government despite their persistent appeals.

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