The organisation has condemned “the lukewarm attitude” of people towards the wearing of face masks and “indulging in reckless disregard for all the observable protocols put in place by the Government.”
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Abu Kasangabata, Executive Director, Savannah Development Policy, praised the Government for introducing varied measures, including social restrictions-backed laws to fight the virus, saying: “We are of the strongest conviction that it will yield good results if carried out well.”
But, added that “It is sad to relate that most people in the northern half of the country have not heeded the call to wear face masks in controlling the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which is quite worrying.”
He also commended some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for putting on hold the weekly markets within their jurisdictions in an attempt to contain the pandemic, describing the step as is “a move in the right direction which must be enforced with the needed attention it deserves.”
The Executive Director said the wearing of face masks was crucial as a containment measure against the spread of COVID-19 in the country, especially in the northern sector where adherence to the wearing of the masks is low.
Medical scientists are advocating cloth face coverings, which should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and be secured with ties or ear loops.
The masks should include multiple layers of fabric to allow for breathing without restriction and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage.
The Ghana Food and Drugs Authority had recommended homemade cloth face coverings for wearing to cover the face in public settings, where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The Savannah Development Policy Think Tank had backed the recommendations as the easiest and cheapest way of fighting COVID-19 since they come in handy.
It insists that it is advisable to use the simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know how it is transmitted.
Mr Kasangabata said the organisation also viewed the cloth face coverings moulded from common materials at low cost could be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure against the dreadful virus.
He suggested the National Commission for Civic Education in collaboration with all MMDAs be given the necessary human and material resources to carry out public education on the need to wear face masks, especially in northern Ghana.
The Savannah Development expressed its readiness to rally round all MMDAs to carry out public education on wearing of face masks.
Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu, at a press briefing on Tuesday, emphasised that mask-wearing and social distancing were compulsory.
He said the idea of “I don't have money to buy face mask” should not be an excuse for anybody not to wear a mask, stressing that, “Wearing of face masks in public will continue to be our way of life to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
The Minister called for adherence to the protocols on COVID-19 - wash your hands as “SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will stay with us indefinitely.”
Ghana's COVID-19 case tally spiked to 2,719 on Monday with 294 recoveries and 18 fatalities, according to the Ghana Health Service, raising public health concern.