Implications of easing restrictions on public gathering

The expectations of some Ghanaians were met last Sunday evening when the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the easing of restrictions on public gathering in the country under the observance of strict health protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some have also expressed disappointment over the restrictions to the churches and mosques as they complain bitterly that limiting the gathering to 100 members won’t work for them.

While the leadership of most churches welcome the directive as a step in the right direction as it would enable members to fellowship with one another after over two months of being under lockdown, others are not so much enthused about the announcement. The leadership of those churches have, therefore, decided to continue to hold virtual services for their members.

It is obvious that, it would be quite difficult for the big churches to control the number of attendees, as social gathering is to be allowed under certain stringent conditions hence their decision to continue with their virtual services.

The President made it clear that those who flout the directives would be sanctioned and the leaders of such religious organisations would be held liable.

For those in the hospitality industry,the decision by the government to lift the ban on public gathering was an answer to their prayers because at least their businesses would bounce back to help them make some gains.

In the educational sector final-year students would heave a sigh of relief as they can now continue with their studies and refresh their memories before they write their final examinations after being home for some time now.

The lifting of the restrictions came with its own attendant directives that must be adhered to in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country. Currently, confirmed cases of the virus in Ghana have hit 8,548 with 3,132 recoveries and 38 deaths.

For religious gathering which took effect yesterday, June 5, 2020, the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, Mr Samuel Kofi Dzamesi during a media briefing announced a set of advisories following the resumption of religious activities.

Among these advisories older persons and people of any age with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and asthma are advised to stay away from attending such services.

Now that the lockdown on public gathering has been partially lifted, it implies that the citizenry would have to be very vigilant and go strictly by the comprehensive guidelines spelt out by the government as community infection is now on the ascendancy.

Any careless mistakes will have dire consequences on individual lives. Thankfully, children have been exempted from having children services since it would be difficult to control them and keep social distancing.    

Now that the ban on social gathering has been lifted with the number of attendees increased from 25 to 100, it implies that more weddings, funerals, parties and other social functions would be organised putting more people at risk. 

For some people, life must go on normal despite the coronavirus pandemic but the fact is we are not in normal times, therefore, there is the need to put in place more safety measures to save lives.

The government should provide the necessary items needed for final-year students to protect themselves. Although the government has announced that Day students in boarding schools will be made boarders, the Spectator proposes that transport arrangements should also be made for students who attend Day schools to facilitate their movement to and from school in these difficult times.

We express much concern over the fact that some citizenry are still careless and do not adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols and health directives provided by the government and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for their own safety. It behoves on all to be responsible and vigilant as the virus is no respecter of persons.

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