The Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK-Africa) has expressed concern over the disregard for the protocols outlined against the coronavirus pandemic at the various political parties’ events ahead of the 2020 elections.
STRANEK-Africa said in a statement on Monday October 12 that supporters and sympathizers of the parties throng the political events without observing social distancing as well as not wearing nose masks.
This situation, according to STRANEK, is worrying since the virus is still lurking around although the rate of infection is dropping.
From the latest release by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the total number of cases has gone past 47,000.
The current total number since Thursday, March 12, when the country recorded its first two index cases, up to Wednesday, October 7, is 47,005.
But recoveries-cum-discharges have risen exponentially, to 46,398, leaving only 301 patients with the disease.
The STRANEK statement said “In as much as this year is an important year for Ghanaians to decide which political party deserves the mandate to steer affairs of this country, we must be reminded that the pandemic COVID-19 has not left us entirely and has caused countries like United Kingdom, India, Czech Republic, France, Spain and the likes to go back to a partial lockdown.
“There has been vigorous crusade by various stakeholders in Ghana asking people to observe the COVID-19 protocols (wearing nose mask, observing social distancing, and regular washing of hands among others) in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, per our observation from the time campaign started, some of our political actors and their sympathisers or members of the parties’ mass up across the country to follow these actors in defiance of the COVID-19 protocols.
“Even though all the political parties are striving hard to catch the attention of partisans, STRANEK-Africa calls on them to publish their COVID-19 campaign guidelines in order not to have the spread of the virus in the heat of their campaign.
“We suggest the COVID-19 campaign guidelines should contain how we can avoid or reduce the risk of crowding during their activities. Building entry and exit protocol to avoid large number of people in closed spaces.
“Campaign billboards, posters, banners should include measures of COVID-19. During door to door campaign, the various structures in the parties – constituencies, polling stations and electoral areas executives must not involve more than five people in a campaign group. The political parties must also do more of virtual campaign. The message spread should involve how we can get rid of this pandemic.
“Albeit the fact that we have barely two months to elections and for that matter, campaign is getting heated, the lives of Ghanaians are at stake and so efforts of disseminating messages of COVID-19 campaign guidelines must continue to keep Ghanaians safe from the virus. Indeed, let us all get involved in building our nation.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana