Intolerable upsurge of COVID-19 infections in Ghana is reaching cataclysmic levels due to intransigence and negligence of many people including laxity in enforcement of the law on safety protocols.

It was officially reported that 13 out of the 16 regions have recorded active cases and the country’s healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed.

The number of active cases increased from a little over 900 to 1,924 as at Sunday January 17, 2021 when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave update Number 22 on the measures taken by government to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

This alarming rate of infection will severely undermine the efforts Government is making to revitalise the economy, and put our nation back onto the path of progress and prosperity after the ravages of the pandemic.

The adherence to enhanced hygiene and other safety protocols such as mask wearing that have been beneficial to the fight against the dreaded disease, is being stubbornly disobeyed.

Consequently, this negligence, as our hardworking President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has regrettably pointed out, has resulted in the upsurge in the number of active cases.

Sadly, again, the COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections.

Particularly worrying, according to the president, is the fact that the Ghana Health Service is recording, on the average, 200 new cases of COVID infections daily.

Furthermore, the number of patients requiring hospitalisation and intensive care is rising. The number of severe cases, which stood at 18 a week ago, has increased sharply to 120.

Just a fortnight ago, there was no critical case but the country now has 33 in the treatment facilities. Again, according to statistics from the Ghana Health Service, the considerable number of persons who are severely ill are, surprisingly, relatively youthful persons, with no previous underlying health conditions.

The number of confirmed deaths has increased, sadly, from 338 persons to 352 within the period.  

What is equally troubling, is that, the recent genomic sequencing undertaken by our scientists have established that some arriving passengers tested positive for new variants of COVID-19.

These passengers, according to the President, have all been isolated and work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.

We reiterate that our active cases are increasing because of complete disregard for the safety protocols by many people who are showing they are not capable of taking care of their own lives.

We should not allow these people to go down with those who are making the needed efforts to secure their future.  

People attend parties, weddings, end of year office programmes, family get-togethers, funerals, traders at markets as well as passengers in taxis and trotros are refusing to abide by the mandatory wearing of masks.

This is happening because the laws on safety protocols are not enforced by the relevant authorities.

Thankfully, President Akufo-Addo has instructed the Inspector General of Police to direct officers, men and women of the Police Service to ensure the rigorous enforcement of the law on mask wearing at all public places and in public transport.

The police are also to ensure the closure of all night clubs, pubs, cinemas and beaches that may be operating in defiance of the law.

Non observance of the safety protocols should attract severe sanctions as set up in the law.

We cannot continue with the annoying laxity in enforcing the law on safety protocols.