Dear friends of Anansi,
I would like to use this opportunity to brief you on the state of the novel coronavirus in Ghana and how Anansi is managing.
It was on the 12th of March, 2020 that Ghana first recorded two cases of the virus. This lead to the president’s public address on the 15th of March to spell out measures to combat the canker. In his speech, he placed a ban on all social gatherings, be it funeral, religious services, parties, political campaigns, schools, and all other public gatherings. He said this was to safeguard the public against the pandemic.
The closure of schools stroke Anansi since we deal with students in the high schools and the final years in the junior high schools. A closure meant our students would be returning home and we can’t proceed with our assessment of new students for the next academic year. It was blank for World as it was for Anansi. Our student’s wellbeing is at the heart of all that we do here in Ghana. Not forgetting there was a ban on all gatherings and fear of the unknown all over the place, so we couldn’t offer our assistance in the form of physical extra tuition as we are used to. We aren’t in ordinary times, the mantra of the season.
While we were on the drawing board brainstorming as to how best to address our students’ needs, the government readdresses the nation on the 27th March. This time run, it was harsh and rough to many, a lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Kasoa. These places were seen as the hotspots of the virus. The reason was to contain the spread of the disease, enhance surveillance in those areas.
The lockdown lasted for three weeks before the lift of the ban on movement. Many well-to-do Ghanaians demonstrated patriotism to the nation during these hard times. Many donated foods, medical supplies, monies to the government to complement its efforts in fighting the common enemy.
I think the government of Ghana has been successful in putting the virus under control. The wearing of Face masks is mandatory in Ghana. One can’t step outside of his/her house without it. It might sound funny though, in Kumasi, the second busiest city in Ghana after the capital Accra, some persons without the face mask were arrested and ordered to clean the gutters and the market areas. The government is serious about this. Market places which were not observing the protocols have been closed down even as I write. Hand washing and the application of sanitizers are urged. Now, all supermarkets and public offices have running water and soap installed for citizens to wash their hands.
Ghanaians for the first time are practicing physical distance without scorn or prejudice.
I must applaud the government of Ghana, Kathryn can testify. Human nature can never be underestimated, during the ban of social gatherings, a pastor was arrested and fined for flouting the law in a suburb of Kumasi. At Obuasi, the golden city of Ghana, the bride and the groom were arrested for tying the knot despite the restrictions. Private burials with persons not more than 25 are allowed.
Although, our governments have politicized many occurrences, never with Covid-19. The president has been frank and adhered to experts’ advice. Our health personnel must be recommended for their awesome sacrifices. Thorough contact tracing of infected persons was successfully done by these practitioners. Our testing centers have been increased from two to ten in just three months. This has enhanced the capacity and speed of the test.
The government has rewarded the frontline workers well to work their hearts out. There is a tax-free of their basic salary and a 50% increase in their salaries. Again, the government has absorbed all water bills and 50% of our electricity bills for three months. I am proud of the government and the steps put in place to handle the pandemic.
Yesterday, 31st May 2020 at 22:00GMT the president addressed the nation for the 10th time in the COVID era. As of yesterday, our positive COVID count stood at 8070, 36 deaths, and 2947 recoveries. The government reassured us of his commitment to fighting the pandemic till the end. Final year students in the universities, senior high, and junior high schools are expected to report at school on the 15th, 22nd, and 29th of June respectively. Churches, mosques, and other social gatherings are reopened with persons not more than 100, all in face masks and observing the physical distance.
Even though internally life is regaining its prowess, the borders are still closed till 31st July then the government will decide the way forward. However, Ghanaians who want to return home are welcomed. The government said it’s in talks with its embassies abroad to foster that.
In summary, I think what is accounting for the seemed success over the novel coronavirus are:
- Fear – the videos from Europe and America about how the virus is ending lives, Ghanaian are mostly scared considering our weak health system
- The media – the campaign on Covid-19 is everywhere on TV, radio, and newspapers.
- Food – I think the type of foods Ghanaians eat helps to boost their immune systems. The president had even mentioned some foods we should patronize and consume.
- Leadership (religious) compliance – religious leaders being at the forefront of the fight has deepened the government’s actions in the minds of their followers
- Government proactiveness – this has won the heart of most residents both Ghanaians and foreigners.
- Benevolent gestures – the support people rendered to the government during the fight spoke lauder of the existence of the disease to those who didn’t believers.
These are my personal notes from a sincere observation and analysis of how things are unfolding in Ghana.
Anansi is currently preparing to support its students and some more dire need students with face masks and hand sanitizers as they go back to school. Although we had exhausted the budget for the final year students with their school supplies, we shall offer one more supplies of provisions to ensure their successful completion of high school.
This one too shall pass, long live lovers of Anansi, long live Anansi.
Managing Director of Anansi Education