Undoubtedly, Ghana has chalked up a lot of successes when it comes to managing the spread of COVID-19 on this side of the globe.
The latest plus to all the efforts by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Ghana Health Service and other major stakeholders is the receipt of 600,000 doses of vaccines from the Indian government and drug manufacturers for COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) member countries.
The arrival of the first batch of vaccines in the country last Wednesday made Ghana the first member country of COVAX to receive a consignment, and it is because the country’s well-structured plan and preparedness to start vaccination has been recognised globally.
It is expected that, subsequently, the remaining batches of vaccines agreed by the government for the vaccination of about 20 million people will all arrive for a seamless national vaccination exercise which starts today.
Although the decision to opt for vaccination has been received in certain quarters with scepticism because of the perceived side effects of the vaccines and several myths being bandied around, it is worth reminding ourselves that we have so far been spared massive deaths and infections as was the case in other countries, mostly in Europe.
Ghana so far has had over 580 people succumbing to COVID-19, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians contracting the virus. What is making matters frightening now is that our daily average currently hovers around 700, while the mutation of the original virus also makes the managing of COVID-19 very tricky.
It is the reason our mortality rate has soared over the past few weeks, because for many of the deceased it was at the last minute that it was found out that they had contracted COVID-19, by which time it was too late to save them.
Further to that, in the second wave that has hit the country since January this year, COVID-19 isolation centres across the country have become full, thus making it extremely difficult to find beds or space for critically ill patients.
Many stories abound of close relations passing on because of the delay or inability to find space for them at the isolation centres where they might have survived because the centres are better equipped and the frontline workers are specifically trained and willing to attend to such patients.
Coupled with that, it is no news that many people have become fatigued with observing the COVID-19 safety protocols, hence the reluctance to wear nose masks especially when one steps out of the house, practising handwashing with soap under running water and physical distancing, among other protocols.
To further reduce the effect of the virus on our lives, the ideal move now is for everyone to take the jab as insurance against any deadly infection and the Daily Graphic urges all Ghanaians to take advantage of the window of hope when it is opened to them.
While allowing vaccination does not mean we should thereafter let our guard down with respect to the observation of the safety protocols, it will ensure that we stop the spread of COVID-19 among ourselves and gradually deal decisively with the virus which is threatening to take away humanity and all the communal living we have known for centuries.
As the President has stated time without number whenever he presents an update on the COVID-19 situation in the country, “this too shall pass” but it will depend on us all.
We urge everyone to encourage one another to go through with the vaccination, for once we are all vaccinated, we will give COVID-19 no more room to fester among us.
The Daily Graphic also commends all those involved in ensuring that the first doses of vaccines arrived in the country and we urge that they ensure we have a successful exercise once it kicks off today, March 2, 2021.