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19.01.2021 Editorial

Sanction face mask defaulters

Sanction face mask defaulters
LISTEN JAN 19, 2021

The President spoke to the nation last Sunday in his latest coronavirus (COVID-19) update. There was no doubt about his disappointment in how his compatriots have allowed indiscipline to threaten the gains we have made in our fight against the virus.

Regardless of the economic cost of a partial lockdown as we witnessed it when the template was applied in the early response to the virus, same could be re-imposed if the current upward trend does not abate.

There is near total disregard for the COVID-19 hygiene protocols in the country, a reality which sometimes makes us wonder whether most Ghanaians do not believe in the reality of the virus.

In countries where the virus' second wave is wreaking so many fatalities, governments have had to resort to sanctions for those who breach measures.

We would not be asking for too much if we ask government to be ruthless in ensuring that Ghanaians do the right thing under the circumstances.

So much public education has been made that there is no Ghanaian who does not understand that the world is facing a silent enemy; a pandemic about which a vaccine has just been rolled out, its penetration still restricted to some parts of the world.

The situation of zero occupation of beds at special facilities for victims of COVID-19 becoming full is one which calls for swift action from the authorities.

The President rightly directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ensure that security agents demand the use of nose masks by all persons who appear in public.

There is no action from the police regarding the enforcement of the use of nose masks by people in the streets even as most Ghanaians continue to go about their daily chores without the masks.

Many Ghanaians especially in Accra are still ignoring the nose mask directive and until the police start enforcing same, not much can be achieved in this direction.

During the partial lockdown, those who went out to buy essential items complied with the directives because the security agents compelled them to do so.

Public transport occupants should be compelled to use face masks, failure to do which should have the drivers sanctioned. This way, drivers would demand of passengers to be masked before being allowed to board their vehicles.

We are in a health emergency situation and this demands that the country is put on a war footing. This is the only way that we can compel our people to come along in the fight against the unseen COVID-19.

Social functions in especially densely populated areas should be stopped forthwith.

The municipal assemblies should join forces with the law enforcement agents to deal with this subject.

We can return to the situation which earned us world applause.

---Daily Guide

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