Who is enforcing the social distancing directive!

We have been forced to revisit our editorial of yesterday which emphasised the need for Ghanaians to adhere to the directive on social distancing to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

This is because the rate at which the directive has been disregarded by majority of persons in the four lockdown areas is of optimum concern to us.

From the markets, lorry stations, public transport vehicles, office spaces, shopping malls to crowded communities such as Bukom and Jamestown, the actions of people suggest that the directive fell on deaf ears.

As one of the identified measures which is critical to preventing the spread of the disease in the country, it is shocking that many have flouted it and continued to act as if we are in normal times.

What is worse is that everyone is pretending to be unaware of the deadly nature of the disease. That is very disturbing.

So far, Ghana has recorded 313 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with six deaths.

Although the number is not as high as compared to other countries, we cannot let our guards down in preventing the spread of the disease. 

That is why the government and our frontline health workers have been pushing the practice of social distancing as a way to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. 

The United States of America Center for Disease Control (CDC) explained social distancing as a means to keep some space between one person and another. 

This is why many public events and activities where individuals are typically crammed close to one another are on hold.

Schools, churches, professional sports competitions and all other recreational gatherings have been banned in order to promote social distancing, thereby limiting infections through respiratory droplets. 

 However, the motive is destined to fail if people continue to gather at markets without observing any form of social distancing.

At the Madina market in Accra and other markets across the country, scores of traders and buyers were busily engaged in business with no respect for the directive.

The situation is no different at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange where a crowd of about 30 join a long queue to take food items from benevolent givers during the partial lockdown period.

These and other situations across the country threaten Ghana’s fight to curb the spread of the disease.

In fact, the experience of China and South Korea are proof that social distancing is a critical measure in curtailing the spread of COVID-19.

We are encouraged that some steps are being taken particularly in markets where arrangements have been made for rotation and social distancing efforts.

But this arrangement will only succeed if the directive is closely monitored and enforced because we are already noticing some conflict between the traders in the market.

We are unable to go into details what is going on in the market but we believe that we will have to double our efforts if we are to succeed with the social distancing directive.

The Ghanaian Times calls on the security agencies to enforce the directive to the latter without fear or favour as we cannot slack in our approach.

In the absence of a vaccine for treating the disease, social distancing remains one of our surest ways to fight COVID-19 and we must not allow it to be a rhetoric.

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