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Bright Philip Donkor writes: A view from public transport vehicles: Covid-19 protocols are disregarded

A nation is said to be progressing when majority of its citizens embrace discipline. Our individual lives during the striking moments of the Covid-19 and now has gone through some metamorphosis; ones of adherence and otherwise. Almost nine months into the arrival of Covid-19 in our country, we can probably make some general statements about how the virus has fared in our midst.

Before the arrival of the first cases and soon after that, most people feared the worst. A disease was coming that had no cure. We became aware of what was happening in Italy and the daily death toll very frightening. Indeed, countries all over the world have been thrown into an uncomfortable health displacement and Ghana is no exception. Whilst this crisis presents bad news for Ghanaians making a lot of people to contract the disease, some perishing, having dire consequences on human resource and livelihoods nationwide, it leaves no scare to passengers and operators of public transport vehicles.

There's no denying the fact that people are aware of the pandemic, its dynamic nature but still doubt it's real. They are not observing the Covid-19 protocols. Has the virus evaporated like thin air into the atmosphere? People were increasingly adapting to the Covid-19 safety protocols; initially, they were adhering to the protocols religiously but have now disregarded it recklessly. Why don't you make it precaution and courtesy to yourself and those nearby you?

The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in recent State of the Nations Addresses keeps easing some of the restrictions and keeps reiterating the need to wear face mask everywhere and anytime. However, people have thrown caution to the wind.

In this article, I express my thoughts on the total disregard of the Covid-19 protocols in public transport vehicles and every right thinking Ghanaian.

Currently, most drivers and passengers are not observing the precautionary measures in public transport vehicles. They operate without their nose mask; some drivers intentionally hide theirs in pockets and others hung it on their gear sticks or ignition keys. Some passengers who should know better are also seen hiding theirs in bags, pockets etc. As a result, many people through coughing, sneezing or even talking can unknowingly infect others.

With a cosmetic attempt, when they approach Toll Booths or Police Barriers, they're tempted and compelled to wear them. After some few kilometers drive away, and they take them off. Do you need a Police Officer before you do what's right? It’s a shame!

They're simply violating the measures put in place to stem the tide. The Police have also not been checking the wearing of the face protectors like they do previously. I hope that attitudinal efforts could be made to reverse this downward slide. The advertent habit of putting the nose masks in pockets, or bags that has been cultivated in these public transport vehicles should be nipped in the bud.

Everyone is susceptible to contract the virus but then, an attitude of adherence will manifest in our total deliverance. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified Ghana among countries with the most innovative and effective government’s response to the virus.

The health organization indicated that Ghana deserves commendation for measures such as strict compliance with social distancing protocols and strict hygiene principles in fighting the virus. This commendation of the country has been possible because of our compliance to social distance protocols and strict hygiene regimens. Nonetheless, what we do today, will determine how quickly we can defeat this pandemic, so that we can continue with our normal lives.

As citizens of mother Ghana, we need to do our best to help in bringing this canker under minimum control. We have to admit that, we find ourselves in challenging times and for things to return to normalcy, the attire of obedience and compliance should be worn. Discipline; an essential tool for national development must be embraced by all.

There is, therefore, the need to wage a frontal assault on indiscipline by every right thinking Ghanaian through pragmatic and collaborative efforts to combat it. In doing so that, we can collectively minimize Covid-19 if not totally eliminate it from the Ghanaian society. We shouldn't be complacent by virtue of the dwindling number of cases currently but remain resolute that Ghana will rise.

The author, Bright Philip Donkor, is the ILAPI, African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT) 2020 Best Article Writer; a Social Activist, Columnist, and a Prolific Feature Writer.


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