The COVID-19 restrictive measures are quite frustrating. Education has come to a halt, businesses are gradually folding up, and the religious are unable to gather for worship, among many other restrictions that seem abnormal.
The pressing need for life to return to normalcy continues even though Ghana continues to lurk in the woods with spikes in cases almost daily. Thus, there is still a rise in local spread considering our borders and ports being closed.

The bitter truth is COVID-19 has come to live with us but for Divine intervention or until a vaccine is found and we must learn to live with it just like many other diseases.
The president who keeps reiterating plans to ease restrictions, i.e. open borders, ease restrictions on social gatherings, etc. is expected to address the nation on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

We all don’t know what is going to be said; restrictions are likely to be maintained or eased up based on the data and science available to the president but the latter is highly probable and thus, raising so many concerns especially about the reopening of schools.

Various stakeholders have raised their concerns about schools reopening and some think the best way is to let the children stay home with their parents until we are out of the woods and I must say I couldn’t agree more but also education cannot be put on hold for too long since we do not know how long we are going to be in the woods.

What we need to do is the strategic and gradual reopening of our schools. Just like Prof. Stephen Adei advised, finalists should be allowed first to go to school instead of wholesale reopening.
Most of our institutions do not have enough facilities to make optimal provision for the student populations available hence there is overcrowding in most of our classrooms with students having to stand even at the tertiary levels during lectures, some halls have single rooms housing as many as 8 students. Meanwhile, social (physical) distancing is encouraged to help reduce the rate of spread of COVID-19.

Should restrictions be eased and finalists or a fraction of students be allowed to go back to school, I would like to suggest among many measures that;
A mass testing program is rolled out for students. This shouldn’t be done when all students have reported but students should be given various dates for arrival depending on the testing capacity available at each institution. That way, the risk of spread would be minimal.

Sanitizers and other hand washing devices like Veronica buckets should not just be made available at vantage points but the regular flow of water must be ensured and strictly supervised in cases where the devices are not directly connected to a water source.

Plus, all who will be on campus should be required to have proper masks and that should be checked considering how masks are being made locally from fabrics to meet demand although some do not meet the required standards, and possibly, students should be accommodated in a way that prevents crowding in their rooms.
For our borders, I think they should remain closed a little longer to avoid the importation of cases in addition to dealing with the local spread.
A few days ago, some 200 plus Ghanaians arrived from Kuwait and that has made Ghanaians stuck in other countries call for the borders and airports to be reopened.
I would like to state that it is the responsibility of the Government to provide for citizens both at home and abroad.
It is something every Ghanaian deserves but for the authorities to make it sound like it is a privilege for these returnees to be brought back is deceptive.
Considering what was said in the Akan language during their welcome ceremony which translates as, “When President Akuffo-Addo saw the videos of you being stranded, he decided to open the border specially for you”.
Does it mean Ghanaians stuck in other countries due to the closure of our borders aren’t special?
It is high time the Government stopped using every platform to seek favor in this period and citizens should also know their rights and what they deserve.

Let us stop hailing what must be done by the Government as special treatment and rather hold Government accountable for usually ignoring them. Enough of the games we allow politicians to play on our minds.
Also, The Ghana Health Service said we are going to be dealing with real-time data but updates made on May 29, 2020, on its site is recorded data as at May 27, 2020. Thus, the update is two days late. I hope this would be rectified.
As we patiently await The President’s next address, let us all adhere to the precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus and aid the Government’s efforts in this battle.
Edmund, E. Terkpernor,
May 29, 2020.

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