There are two schools of thought at the moment regarding COVID-19. Majority, says there should be “total lockdown” and few people believe total lockdown will be dangerous.
Certainly; my stand is that total lockdown will be a “perilous journey” to be embarked by most African countries. There is without doubt that mostly affected country’s from Europe, North America, and Asia went for the total lockdown. However, Africa can’t copy what the west are doing at the moment to address the situation. They have different systems, over the years, they have built or invested heavily in health care, creating jobs in order to reduce the unemployment gap, even those without jobs or are in school are entitled to some allowances for up keeping.
Interestingly, while African governments or leaders are busy with corruptions, neglecting the people who elected them into power, failure to build a robust economy, nepotism and fighting for their own parochial interest, their counterparts (Western leaders) are busy repairing and building the fundamentals. With this, even if there is a total lockdown, the shock will hardly be felt, unlike the Africans.
During the heat of the moment, Canada, the USA, China, Italy, and some other countries have come out with good social interventions to support their people. This does not mean that our leaders in Africa haven’t done so. I called this intervention from our leaders as “driving against the wind” which we cannot stand it.
Most economies in Africa will collapse or go into recession if COVID-19 prolongs more than 4 months on the continent and people continue to stay indoors or lockup.
Rather, Africa should find ways to address the challenges. The solution should be centered on Africa and to suit our terrain. We need not copy blindly otherwise, we will jeopardize the economy, creating or causing lots of starvations, increase in social vices and collapsing companies in the process and rendering many already employed- jobless.
The following will help “open up the economy” and will add up to addressing the challenges related to Africa.
1. Government should cancel the lockdown and introduced restrictions that “it is mandatory to wear mask before going out”. Any person caught in the public without any mask on should be arrested and arranged before the court of law.
2. Government should channel funds meant for free food, free water, and electricity to invest in the provision of PPEs for health workers and also providing all Ghanaians nose masks at least 10 per person.
3. Government should equip appropriate institutions to carry out mass testing regionally and results should be timely. The citizens should support government set up isolation centers and testing centers in designated areas.
4. Massive education should be carried out on TVs, radios and also community based on COVID 19 and it’s preventive measures.
5. Schools should resume, but churches should remain closed. Churches should be allowed to deploy other innovative means to reach their congregations with sermons.
6. The borders should remain closed. Inter-regional travels should also remain closed. But partial lockdowns should be lifted and movement within should be allowed but only with the mask on.
Vozbeth k. Azumah
Agribusiness consultant with specialty in Snail Production and Processing || Bee Keeping and Honey Production|| Indigenous Livestock Breeding.
Email: [email protected]
Vozbeth K. Azumah
Director of My Community Farm Project
Agotime - Ziope District, Kpetoe, Ghana
Phone: +233 204495570 / +233 543557517
WhatsApp: +233 554546497
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