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Opinions of Sunday, 22 March 2020

Columnist: David Quaye

David Quaye writes: Combating coronavirus the indiscipline Ghanaian approach

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Though times they say do not last; the truth of the matter, however, is that, tough times may last or otherwise based on the concerted efforts in place to address the circumstance at hand.

Again conventional wisdom has it that, when you see your neighbour's beard in flames, you do not sit aloof; instead, you fetch water next to your beard to deal with any possible fire that may attempt to burn yours.

In the wake of this deadly pandemic (COVID-19) crippling human existence, it’s rather sad to note how Ghana is treating the issue.

While other countries were putting in place sophisticated measures to counter and contain the extent of the spread, no proper alternatives were premeditated to tackle this global pandemic should we be hit in Ghana. Despite countries placing a ban on travels, our borders were heavens gate as we kept importing cases.

Away from our tortoise-paced efforts to deal with the catastrophe, there has been a hike in the number of cases recorded and as predicted, we would have a scarier escalation of numbers. Now it’s obvious that no government official would have the escape route of seeking any medical attention beyond the shores of Ghana. This is a clear indication that we need to address our failing health systems.

Albeit other countries inject millions of dollars to make their health facilities the best in other to deal with sick patients, in my own country Ghana, we play politics with our health systems.

Many health facilities built by past governments have been left abandoned while we continue to face inadequate bed crises in some major health centres. Is this not worrying?

Flipping away from government to citizens, we continue to experience high levels of adamancy in the country pertaining to adherence to safety measures while our cases keep escalating. Citizens are not so fazed about current happenings.

I step out there and still see mass gathering in small pubs and restaurants in some vicinities within Accra, congestion in public transports and absolutely no social distancing at our market places. Can we blame the government for this also?

Aside not adhering to measures, prices of goods are skyrocketing. After recording the first few cases, prices of Hand Sanitizers (by the way isn’t the cure) were up. Now that more cases have been recorded and community spread has commenced, the prices of food items have drastically shot up. Are we doing ourselves any good?

In Italy where the death toll has surpassed the origin of the pandemic, just two cases were reported as at January 31 2020. Although statistically, the percentage of persons living over 60 is high, the cases there should inform us that recording few cases in the early stages and doing very little could harm you so much than you ever dreaded. Look at the US. Look at Spain.

Although we are dealing with this global pandemic, I hope and pray that after we are through, the current government and future governments will prioritize our health systems. Adequate resources will be allocated to bettering the facilities to deal with medical conditions.

It’s good to note that at least, now our borders have been closed to human entry. Better late than never. I hope we are able to achieve the 5 main pointers highlighted by the President his very latest address to citizens.

Government owes us a lot; but as citizens, we owe ourselves a little bit more in terms of personal safety. May God heal the world again! #ThisTooShallPass!

The writer is President of the Political Science Students Association, University of Ghana