From all indications, the nation Ghana is at the crossroads and we as citizens seem to find ourselves between the devil and the deep blue sea on whether or not to support or kick against a lockdown of the country as a measure of controlling the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease that is spreading like bush fires globally.
It is in light of the above that I write to add my voice to the national discourse of a lockdown which has been proposed by many experts, including the Ghana Medical Association, Trade Union Congress and recently the Chief of staff of the Asantehene. The purpose of this article is to also propose a few measures to adopt in place of a lockdown.
To start with, a lockdown, in my opinion, would rather escalate the spread of the virus.
Immediately an announcement of a lockdown is made by the president, many city dwellers would move to their hometowns and since the virus moves when people move, those who have it would move with it and infect those in the villages and it could put us in Italy, U.S.A and Spain's situation currently.
The cost of living in the villages is far cheaper than it is in cities. The president cannot announce a lockdown and ask that it takes immediate effect after the announcement, he would definitely give people a day or two to stock their homes with food and other essentials.
The period he gives for people to stock their homes with food and other essentials would be used to travel to the villages where food, accommodation, and other essentials are cheap. A lot of people in the cities do hand to mouth and therefore cannot survive a lockdown.
Italy, Spain, and parts of the United States of America are under a lockdown yet their infection rate keeps soaring each day. Have we asked ourselves why?
To remedy the spread of the virus among the citizenry, I suggest the following.
Disclosure of the identity of people who tested positive to enable those who have had contact with them to test for the virus. I know how difficult it is, especially with the principle of confidentiality that medical experts adhere to, but in situations like this where the virus is a threat to the survival of the human race, we have no option than to reveal their identity else we all perish.
Put those contacts that have been traced under mandatory quarantine to prevent further spread.
As the president announced yesterday, those who entered our jurisdiction on or after March 3 should be tested and those who are yet to exhaust their 14 days incubation period should be put under mandatory quarantine.
To conclude, it is important to note that humanity is at war with an invisible enemy hence any decision taken at the battlefield should not be in a haste.
Level 300 student,
B.Ed English Language,
Valley View University, Accra.