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Mutatis Mutandis: After COVID-19 what next?

BY: Prof. Rexford Assasie Oppong

Yes, coronavirus, technically and scientifically nicknamed COVID-19, is inhuman and deadly!

It is invincibly powerful due to its fluid characteristics, and it has assumed the world’s most popular and trendy vocabulary.

There is no ambiguity in its pronunciations. That shows its unifying characteristics.

It has shut and locked down almost all world economies, including the most powerful. It is keeping families and entities together, which could not have happened for varied reasons.

Universities, schools and jobs have suffered. Timetables and timelines across the world are now topsy-turvy. Uncertainty is in vogue: final examinations at all levels have been quarantined to perplex the youth: the world’s future.

But who is to blame, coronavirus certainly? Scientists who have devoted their lives to virology are at their wits’ end.

Arguably, President Donald Trump speaks with caution on coronavirus. Many super powerful countries, with all the arsenals to move anywhere in the world to remove anything that threatens peace, crumble at coronavirus’ feet.

Trump’s critics appear to plan a second round of impeachment because he said “coronavirus is a hoax”, but its ramifications chivvied President Trump out of the White House to announce the most attractive stimulus package for Americans thus far.

Yes! the world is gripped by the fear of coronavirus, but God’s invincible nature is more powerful than anything under the sun. 

It is right for the world to be reflective and turn to God for He has declared in Jeremiah 30:17 “to restore us to health and heal our wounds”.

Delayed crown

The crown of COVID-19 was not lost on our beloved motherland Ghana. The virus crown delayed in coming. Eventually, it arrived!

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been proactive in dealing with it. A lot of safety measures: legal, health, religious, etc.,  have been implemented.

Perhaps, one never imagined that the drums of churches from every nook and cranny could be stopped. Coronavirus has taught us the lesson that the Jubilee House is powerful and can galvanise us into action.

Can we use the same approach to fight illegal mining and corruption by invoking the Imposition of Restrictions Act 2020? Can we say coronavirus is a crown and blessing in disguise?

COVID-19 Fund

Institutions, including markets, universities, hospitals, etc., have been ‘fumigated and sanitised’ in the campaign against the spread.

Ironically, coronavirus is not new to the extent that KNUST has produced some of the researchers working with the world’s top-notch coronavirus researchers; while some are working with the ‘unknown’ Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR)-KNUST.

It is interesting to know that KCCR worked on Ebola, N1H1 etc., and is currently supporting with its limited resources to test coronavirus cases.

How come the exploits of KCCR-KNUST are unknown to Ghanaians? Perhaps, a real challenge of research uptake and dissemination! The fragrance of academic pomposity displayed through inaugural and public lectures is gradually losing its potency in KNUST.

Undoubtedly, KCCR has been systematic in its mandate of researching into tropical and other diseases, but with minimal publicity and funding.

It is hoped KCCR would benefit immensely from the novel COVID-19 Fund set.The COVID-19 Fund is indeed a ‘Morning Star’ in Ghana; let’s all support it.

Mutatis mutandis?

COVID-19 has apparently resurrected many defunct and slumbering institutions. Why must we wait for COVID-19 to tell us to wash our hands?

\What is the significant impact of fumigating, for example, Sokoban Market in Kumasi; where behind its immediate surroundings is a mountain of refuse and a local industry where meat (locally known as kahuro) is processed by using the polluted Subin River and unhygienic tools under the nose of city authorities?

Some mind-boggling questions are: whether the fumigated markets which ‘precoronavirusly’ lived healthily and made thousands of Ghanaians wealthy in and around ‘mountains of filth’ going to have a changed outlook?

Would state institutions and people have a habitus of clean environments or is it business as usual; Mutatis Mutandis?

The writer is the Dean, International Programmes Office, KNUST.

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