BY: Princess Lovia Tetteh | OPINION |
We have all by now been very informed about, and probably in diverse ways felt the influx of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) which has become a widespread health emergency of global concern, with our beloved country also being a seemingly helpless victim to its spread and effects.
Today, the Ghanaian socio-political environment has become such that despite the well acclaimed democracy and Rule of Law, not just every citizen could actually voice out concerns on social problems and interventions and be heard and properly addressed. But fellow Ghanaians, in this pandemic situation, regardless of all political, social and cultural devides and the controversies related to the interventions put in place by Government, it is much more needed on our part as citizens and duty bearers to ensure these interventions draw home the much desired results we seek as a nation to reduce the deleterious devastations of Covid-19.
The Head of State in a recent address announced a 100 million Dollar fund to fight the menace but so far we have not been informed on what this fund is committed to specifically achieve. Awaiting its arrival and disbursement, what is the way forward? We are in desperate times and it is sacrosanctly necessary that correspondingly, desperate measures are considered to safeguard every Ghanaian life, and all else therein.
To pull to an introspective query the efficacy of our support systems, fear and panic aren’t far fetched; but we will survive! Every Ghanaian Citizen should at this trying era subject him/herself to the health directives of strict hand hygiene, appropriate coughing and sneezing, social distancing, glove and mask use, disinfection of surfaces, voluntary check-up, helping the weak with preventive caution, and reporting ilegal immigrants. Our decision makers must not at this point in time overrate the ability of our institutions and all other duty bearers in conceptualizing solutions for this present predicament and its associated future repercussions.
We must as a matter of urgency initiate district and community based mass testing, increase public awareness and sensitization on safety and preventive measures. Our precious lives and the collective future of our nation must not be put in jeopardy.
In recent times, we have seen developed countries locked in invisible races in quests of becoming the Earth’s single superpower. In the light of this, any (of them) could be driven towards anything, be it military, bio-militia, economic, political, etc., if in their words, the end must justify the means. Contemporary medical statistics have however shown how these competitors (and other developed countries) have had enormous shares of recorded cases and Covid-19-induced deaths. Some might have already been as much prepared to lose certain proportions of their population, especially the non-active class, taking into consideration their population-control policies.
A pandemic like Covid-19 to them isn’t a bad deal then, but the recorded death tolls obviously is a great dent on their super pride and as such, others too especially Africa must be made to feel it? Fellow Ghanaians, we must thread cautiously in seeking aid from Royalties that have been stripped off stolen amulets, else we shall be victims for pacifying arrogant gods! In Africa, the virus has been woefully spread-largely by importation-and countries that are gradually fighting to climb the developed ladder are likely to have their already-struggling economies further toppled, again, and continue on perpetual aid paths crafted with beautiful adjectives.
In Ghana, we are nearing a state of self-quarantine, social distancing and national lock down. For a nation whose human resource and aggregate productive efforts largely covers the informal sector, this pandemic is not just a disaster, but a Misfortune. A complete national lock down if necessary, should be imposed with associated economic support systems and livelihood empowerment initiatives as well as continuous salary structure for both public and private sector workers, with complete longterm ban on international travel from selected countries. This however, should be subject to our future prospects of macroeconomic stability, foreing policy alignments, international commitments and sustainable development.
Covid-19 is a test of our collective seriousness as a nation, and a call to a redefinition of our conceptualization of nationhood. To win the fight against all odds even as we implement current mitigation strategies, there is the need for a well coordinated dialogue with Government, MMDAs, CSOs, the media, essential service providers, local NGOs, religious bodies, researchers and those in academia to brainstorm effective and lasting solutions to this pandemic and any of its likes in the future. Everyone is a potential victim and a potential solution.
It is very unsafe and joking-looking if the “sick and come-in approach” continues to remain our most active battle plan against Covid-19. If honestly, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research remains the only resourced Centre for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for a 30.4 million population, then we can definitely not make gains of progress. If it isn’t, we should as a nation activate all other available vanguards to protect ourselves and generations unborn from a possible 30 million case.
“Raise high the flag of Ghana”!
If it must be to our last breath, let us continue to fight with our strength of arm and eschew all forms of mediocrity and negative energies. Stop hiking prices of essential goods. Keep Ghana safe and put her first. From the ashes, we will rise. Together, we will survive. God bless our homeland, Ghana, and make us Great and Strong!
Source: Princess Lovia Tetteh
(Team Lead at LoveAid Foundation & Convener, Ho CSOs Platform on the SDGs)