President Refuses To Blame Political Rallies And Demonstrations For COVID-19 Upsurge

Update No.22 was delivered yesterday and as many feared or expected, the President confirmed that the number of cases in the country is rising by the day and Health authorities record 200 average cases daily according to latest statistics from the Ghana Health Services.

Many concerns were raised during the heat of the political campaigns towards the general elections in December that events of the campaigns could lead to a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases. It did not end in the elections but even post-election demonstrations by party supporters who were dissatisfied by the outcome of the results in various constituencies as well as the Presidential results.

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In many of those instance, only a few if any at all wore nose masks and there was blatant disregard for social-distancing as party folks and demonstrators gathered in their numbers to either listen to speeches at rallies or express their grievances at organized demonstrations.

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It was thus expected that when we hear that there is an upsurge, political rallies and demonstrations would have seen to have played a role and people who led in those causes duly accept responsibility and all accept to learn from it moving forward. That was not the case as according to the President, detailed investigations showed the cases were from arriving passengers through our airport and social events such as funerals, end of year office programmes and weddings. The figures are accordingly backed by statistics but the question many are asking and will continue to ask is, do those gatherings actually bring more people together than political rallies? We may not get the answer to this question now and maybe never in this life but common logic will tell us that such political gatherings did contribute to the number of cases rising in the country.

Detailed investigations of the cases indicate that, apart from arriving passengers at our airport who tested positive, infected persons have recent histories of attending parties, weddings, end of year office programmes, family get-togethers, and funerals. At these gatherings, most of them abandoned the use of the masks, and were engaged in actions that led to them contracting the virus

President Akufo-Addo

We can turn and twist the information in whatever direction to suit who it may but the truth will always remain one. We were reckless in the heat of the political campaigns. We together agreed or compromised to set aside protocols and gain our personal full. We probably have gained that but all we should know is that every life lost now as a result of Covid-19 is partly linked to our actions in the past few months or weeks. We don’t live in an isolated republic where people don’t copy from our actions. If I am a political leader and can host a rally of over 1000 people and not be concerned with observing Covid-19 safety protocols, I don’t expect the person who attended the same rally to host a family gathering of less than 50 people and observe such protocols.

The investigations might have shown that infected persons have histories of recent participations in social events such as weddings and funerals but the investigations should have also being concerned with where the primary source could possibly be. Mr. President only said what was given to him as statistics from those on the field so he was very right to blame weddings, new arrivals at the airport, funerals, family get-togethers and end of year office programmes as the causes in the upsurge of the numbers. As spectators we would just have applauded and probably offer a standing ovation where necessary but we all are almost citizens now or transitioning to citizenship and thus cannot just applaud but ask, “are we responsible enough? Are we sincere and bold enough to accept our mistakes? Do we learn from our past? Can we just be right for once in anything?

Time will tell but till then, Fellow Ghanaians, mask up whenever you step out. You may survive when you get infected, the brother or sister by you may not. I am a citizen and strive to be responsible. I hope you too are and together we shall win this fight. Meanwhile, there is a threat of lockdown if we don’t comply. I don’t want it ever in my life and even if you want it, help your neighbour who doesn’t want it. Your masking up could and may save a life.

By Clifford Adumbire | myactiveonline.com Twitter @adumbirec and @activetvgh

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