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Is COVID-19 over?

BY: Tehilla Ogochukwu-Nweke
File photo
File photo

The scare that came with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic caused all of us to have a life-changing experience, so much that many of us have become narrators, already penning down the stories we will recount to our descendants later on in the future.

But apart from the new gifts came conspiracy theories that fanned the scare-fire in many, alongside rapidly increasing mortality rates worldwide, that put a lot of us in a state of paranoia and largely propelling all of us to take safety measures in order to survive the pandemic.

Now the number of recorded coronavirus cases are relatively on the low in Ghana and vaccines, though not a 100 per cent quality assurance against contracting the disease, are being given out discretionally, though in some cases compulsorily, especially to facilitate international travels.

Normal?

The world seems to be going back to normal and now a lot of safety measures are being neglected here in Ghana. Nevertheless, infections continue and our present situation raises the begging question: Is COVID-19 over?

In as much as Ghana might be recording much less cases than before, it is not reason to leave caution to wind and act like the virus is no longer with us.

With the presence of the latest Omicron variant and BA.2 sub-variant of the virus, much more COVID-19 cases are being recorded in places such as the UK and the US and it will not be so long before Africa is impacted as severely as these other places.

Washing of hands, wearing nose masks, and sanitising regularly are some of the messages being preached in the #CovidIsNotOver trends on social media.

These messages are far from new, but our neglect to these measures might start a new and deadlier wave of the pandemic in a manner that we may have never expected.

Deaths

The New York Times on March 18, 2022 reported China’s first deaths from corona virus in over a year.

It was sensational news in 2020 when China, the first country to identify traces of the virus, was able to contain the spread within its confines through both traditional and western medicine and most importantly, through social measures such as large-scale nucleic acid testing, travel health code management, alongside individual compliance to safety measures in the respective homes of citizens.

By 2021, China had only reported 0.05 per cent of the global coronavirus cases irrespective of the fact that the country accounts for 19 per cent of the global population. However the new variants of the virus have not been so merciful to China and the progress they seemed to have been enjoying since the wake of the pandemic is being threatened.

This is merely a wake-up call to everyone home and abroad, to wake up from our imaginary comfort zones, because if China is now once more at the extreme mercies of the coronavirus, with its more advanced technology as compared to Ghana, there is no guarantee that we will be spared from its claws should it decide to spread its tentacles to Western Africa.

It is important for us to keep safe and protect ourselves as much as possible. The pandemic is not over and like World Health Organisation (WHO) personnel, Margret Harris, rightly said, “The pandemic is far from over and we are definitely in the middle of it”. It is important that we stay alert.

The writer is a Humanities senior at Legacy Girls College, Akuse.