Mr Raymond Tandoh, a management and financial consultant has described the decision by the President to allow night clubs and restaurants to still be in operation even in the face of the outbreak of coronavirus in the country as worrying.
He believes all such gatherings should be banned outright.
All these social gatherings, the experienced entrepreneur said comes with close body contacts and it is difficult to explain why they were left out of the occasions that were outlawed by the directives of the President.
In a release copied to the Ghanaian Observer newspaper last Monday, Mr TANDOH called on the President to review the directives and add the operations of night clubs and restaurants to places that are to be banned from operating.
We hereby publish in full the release from the financial consultant.
The announcement by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the suspension of all public gatherings including churches and mosques in the wake of the deadly coronavirus disease, alias COVID-19, is in principle a welcoming news.
To the extent that the disease can spread from person to person in close contact, all social distancing protocols need to be enforced in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) protocols. Many countries have already taken similar measures like Ghana has done so as to keep at bay the dreaded COVID-19.
Much as the President’s directive is timely and appropriate, it is regrettable to note that restaurants and nightclubs are exempt from the list of proscribed gatherings. We are being told that sanitizers and other preventive materials should be made available at the aforementioned gatherings. This move is worrying since similar caveats should have been extended to other social gatherings like the religious ones.
Activities at nightclubs expose persons more to the dreaded disease than those at churches and mosques.
Ghanaians cannot fathom why the President chose to exempt restaurants and nightclubs which are more susceptible to the spread of COVID-19. Even religious gatherings which offer us the opportunity to pray to God, Allah or the gods, as the case may be, to avert the disease have been banned in the interim.
Furthermore, coronavirus has already had an adverse impact on the economy. Imports have so far been drastically reduced and the multiplier effect will be an increase in the prices of goods and services. No wonder inflation is inching up. These measures in their current form will aggravate the economic situation of the country if not immediately reviewed.
In the light of the foregoing, a passionate appeal is made to the President to review the measures by either allowing for all social gatherings to operate but with the requisite precautionary measures in place or to ban all gatherings including nightclubs and restaurants in the national interest. It is also suggested that public education on the disease through the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) be intensified.
Let us all put our shoulders to the wheel to stamp out this disease.
COVID-19 is real and a national security issue. Let us stay safe.