Amid a world war, we were unfazed and here we are today with the enemy firing in our camp.
Nonetheless, we no longer have the luxury to recall what we could have done to keep the invader at bay.
This is the time for action, and action only! It is time to set national priorities right and make efficient resource allocations with all boldness. This pandemic must be the only concern of the government now and nothing else until it is put under control or defeated absolutely.

What is the way forward?
Proper information is key and on that note I wish to state that the website provided by the Ghana Health Service for the nation’s case updates isn’t delivering as expected. We need to know the nation’s exact status to determine our next move. The delays in making updates must be rectified as a matter of urgency. Quality data puts things in perspective! Instead of just providing us with recorded cases, it would be best and also helpful to reduce panic if we are pre-informed with our testing capacity (how many tests do we run daily/weekly?) and criteria (are we going for extensive testing or only testing those under mandatory quarantine?). Half-truths would not help in this situation. The sudden announcement of huge figures is rather causing panic which we are advised against.

Do we have the technology and manpower?
The men on the battlefield are already calling for retreat. Our doctors are already calling for lockdown with immediate effect.
In a population of over 30 million people, we hang around a physician to patient ratio of 1:84813 with some of these physicians already in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 patients, when the ideal ratio is 1:1000. Hence it is rational to say our physicians were already loaded down before the COVID-19 threat. Not forgetting the inadequacy of state-of-the-art technology to fight extreme cases of COVID-19 and the need to equally attend to patients not suffering from COVID-19.

Is the lockdown necessary?
Despite the effects of the lockdown on the economy and the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian, it is the only option backed by science to reduce the rate of spread. The lockdown might apply to the nation at large or to the regions that have recorded cases of COVID-19 and areas of higher population densities because most of such areas have people traveling to the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions for business while the less populated areas are subjected to curfews.

Also, like Hon. Kennedy Agyapong and Rev. Mensa Otabil suggested: a temporal ban on the public transport system would be timely. It’s crucial to note that the more we delay the actions that can be taken now, the more cases we are likely to record and in turn pay with more patients or casualties considering our inadequate resources and global disruptions in drug supply.
Like Senyo Hosi wrote in “Lock Ghana down now”, he explained some ways in which the economically marginalized can be taken care of during the lockdown by the Government.
Since schools have closed down and the facilities are currently vacant, their shelter can be taken care of with that. How about feeding? Stocked foodstuff meant for the free SHS program and School Feeding programs for the basic levels can be redirected to feed these people in the first few days/weeks while the government finds other ways to provide food for them. Why leave this resource unused during an emergency? It can be replaced after this whole outbreak with whichever resources meant for this battle but is yet to be realized.

COVID-19 has changed our normal way of life. This is not the time to cry for comfort. We would all have to compromise and sacrifice for the greater good to wipe out this virus.
As unpleasant as this might sound to all, we are at war and casualties are expected alongside collateral damages. It’s up to us to accept the reality that there is no perfect solution now and thus rationalize our actions and sacrifice for the greater good. Otherwise, we would be forced by the virus to resort to extreme actions when nobody is ready and that could also lead to chaos but for Divine intervention.
Mr. President, boldly lockdown Ghana now, be it absolute or by ranks.
Just as interest rate applies to financial transactions, as long as we delay in rolling this out, the more we would be required to pay as a nation.

Edmund E. Terkpernor,
Cape Coast,
March 27, 2020.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant...Well spoken... At least I get to read something that addresses the issue at hand and not joke with it


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