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Opinions of Monday, 27 July 2020

Columnist: Godfred Opare Djan

Does coronavirus travel out of Ghana on weekends?

File photo: Coronavirus File photo: Coronavirus

The dreaded Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, which has brought the whole wide world on its knees, is having far-reaching ramifications on Ghana despite the efforts to control and curb the nasty situation.

Government, private entities and individuals are all playing various roles to limit the havoc that the bug would wreak on the nation.

Lots of stuffs are going into how Ghana could deal with the Coronavirus at all levels and individuals are expected to help the government in that direction.

But there are clear pointers that certain persons are behaving as if there was no problem at all and that stakeholders, including the government, are just making noise with COVID-19 because they just want to be heard.

Ghana’s reported COVID-19 cases are getting closer to 30, 000 and that shows that the virus is indeed in the midst of Ghanaians.

Interestingly, various protocols spelt out by the government to help deal with the virus, as is being done elsewhere, are not properly working in Ghana.

Sections of the Ghanaian public have decided that the COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed on certain days, but ignored on other days.

Weekends in Ghana at this deadly Covid-19 time are just like weekends in normal times, with people going about the activities that were religiously observed in the days when there was no COVID-19.

The known Ghanaian activities observed at weekends - funerals, weddings, engagements and Church services are still going on in Ghana bigger and better in the midst of the dreaded COVID-19.

Government in easing restrictions because of the virus came up with various modalities on how certain activities could be held to ensure that the COVID-19 does not spread beyond control.

But the restrictions are not working and some Ghanaians are doing things as if COVID-19 leaves the country on weekends and returns on working days because the protocols are thrown to the dogs on weekends and are observed by majority of people during working days.

Amazingly, COVID-19 affects people every other second, minute and hour and does not know weekends or working days.

Funerals, weddings, engagements and Church services are to be held with specific numbers of persons to come together at a particular time period, but that is not working.

Political activities have also taken the centre stage of various activities in Ghana with those involved forgetting that the virus is real and is wreaking havoc more than ever before.

The involvement of government agencies like the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Identification Authority (NIA) in bastardizing COVID-19 protocols is a factor that is seriously working against Ghana’s quest to deal with the virus spread.

Sadly, law enforcement agencies that are to ensure that the safety protocols are observed are also off the streets on weekends, as most of them join the celebration bandwagon.

Order breaks down on weekends to the extent that the ban placed on drinking bars is unlawfully lifted by operators of certain bars.

Funeral homes that are expected to respect the law and make sure that the safety protocols are observed by those who patronize their services, are just not doing that to help in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Churches are the worst offenders; the men of God are the very people that met and offered a roadmap to the government on how they could hold services with hundred persons and promised to observe the safety protocols to the latter, but have reneged on the promises that they made to the President when they met with him.

Most of the churches are not observing the protocols, and are getting away with the mess because there is no one enforcing the protocols in churches, and churches have also forgotten that it is ungodly to break the very protocols they had agreed in front of the President of the Republic to observe.

The churches have joined the rest of Ghanaians who are bastardizing the COVID-19 safety protocols on weekends and are behaving and thinking that the virus does not affect people during the weekends.

The manner the Coronavirus is spreading should inform every single Ghanaian that things are not normal and the only way to help save the precarious situation is to observe the safety protocols and observe them very well.

The thinking that COVID-19 safety protocols could be broken during weekends is just a wishful one, because COVID-19 does not select the days to wreak havoc; it attacks from all fronts all week-round and that should inform all and sundry to be on guard 24/7.