Make wearing nose mask mandatory again!

Upon the detection of the emergence or outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the country, the government introduced measures to contain its spread.

The measures included a lockdown in the hotspots; restrictions on movement of people and gatherings for conferences, social, religious, sporting and political activities; and mandatory hand washing and sanitisation, social distancing, and wearing of face masks.

The measures also involved the closing of the country’s land, sea and air borders and the introduction of a testing protocol for both citizens and non-citizens travelling into or outside the country.

The lockdown was quickly lifted for its implications for particularly those who eke out a living by going out every day to do menial work and petty or street trading.

Then vaccines emerged and people had to go for vaccination, with some of them having to go in for two doses or the single-dose one while the measures were still in place.

However, the government on Sunday evening announced the easing of the measures but encouraged the populace to go in for the vaccination and continue with the hand-washing and sanitisation while stressing that wearing face mask was no longer mandatory.

It attributed the review to rapidly-declining coronavirus infection rates currently being recorded in the country; the relative success of the vaccination campaign being supervised by the Ghana Health Service, the increased capacity developed in the public and private health sectors over the last two years; and the considerable improvement in the availability and uptake of vaccines by the population. 

To bolster its action, the government said as of Friday (March 25, 2022), the total number of active cases were 72; there were no severely or critically-ill persons; the COVID-19 treatment centres were empty, and the fourth wave of COVID-19 appeared to be over.

With the current situation in view, the government had every ground to ease the measures in reference but some members of the public think wearing of face masks in particular should have been left to remain in place because the virus causing COVID-19 is not yet eradicated or made extinct.

Just days ago the World Health Organisation (WHO) urged caution over the increasing number of African countries rolling back COVID-19 measures even though the continent had the lowest rate of vaccination.

It said only about 201 million people or 15 per cent of Africa’s population were fully vaccinated compared to the global average of 57 per cent, according to WHO.

The WHO said its caution followed a recent spike in COVID cases in other parts of the world, raising the concerns that if these measures were relaxed too quickly, COVID-19 cases could start increasing rapidly.

Besides, the country has not yet achieved herd immunity (a situation where at least 60 per cent of the population should be immunised), which helps to stem the spread of infectious diseases.

Also, even though the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has welcomed the easing of the restrictions or measures under Executive Instrument (E.I) 64, as announced by government on Sunday, it has cautioned that unvaccinated persons within the society still pose a risk.

It has thus encouraged that efforts should be intensified to get such persons vaccinated to protect themselves and the public and sustain gains made in the COVID-19 fight as the economy bounces back to normalcy.

The Ghanaian Times shares the worry of the GMA and so would appeal that wearing of nose masks should be made mandatory again while the government makes the efforts to ensure herd immunity.

Experts say face masks help protect against respiratory infections spread through the droplet route,  including COVID-19.

Also, the face masks have created job opportunities for industries and individuals whose economic activities must not be abruptly collapsed because bringing back the economy to normalcy means people must make a living.

 This follows that even though some economic activities would become irrelevant eventually, steps must be taken to help those affected to adjust, gradually prepare and then shift to one activity or another without suffering economic shocks.

Show More
Back to top button