Draught game centres, potential spread of COVID-19?

One of the games which involves close contacts with the opponent is the draught game.

Arguably, it does not ensure the practice of strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol of social distancing due to its close proximity nature.

This is because the board used for playing the game (usually positioned on the laps of the players), is placed between the two persons opposing each other, who sit less than a metre or three feet away from each other.

The situation is not different at the Tema Community One Community Centre area where many people made up of both young and old meet to play the game.

On several occasions where The Spectator has visited the place, at least 10 people have been found closely gathered with many of them not wearing nose masks.

The players and those cheering them on, including those who are the next to play, stand right behind the players cheering.

When one opponent succeeds in blocking the other by taking a significant number of the pieces of his contender which makes it impossible for the other to move, it drew noise from both supporting parties.

The players are also noted to speak on top of their voices to tease themselves as they jump and pick an opponent pieces.

With the closeness to each other without face masks, it obviously draws droplets which results in exchanges that has the potential to spread the coronavirus.

With the state of affairs, any coughing or sneezing which are often involuntary actions from the persons involved in the game, could compromise the health and safety of many.

There are no hand washing facilities or alcohol-based hand rubs at the venue, therefore anyone no matter how clean or dirty his hands are, just joins and handles the board or the pieces for playing the game which is also a recipe for the spread of the virus.

The Spectator is by this drawing the attention of all players and city authorities to as a matter of urgency put measures in place to right the potential wrongs so that the venue for the game does not become a fertile ground for the spread of the virus. 

One may ask, in the event that one of the frequent visitors to the place contracts the virus, will he be willing to stop coming there or be bold enough to tell the others?

From Dzifa Tetteh Tay, Tema

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