In the age of the “new normal”, as the world looked for ways to survive in the wake of COVID-19, Ghana stood tall among her peers, touted as a beacon of excellence in how to manage the virus the right way. With our international borders closed fairly early, a Centre for testing & treatment and a constant stream of communication established to keep the citizens informed on testing, infection and recovery rates in order to maintain the peace, we expertly handled the situation.
This was followed by a stringent “no mask no entry” policy enforced nationwide and some utility bills being subsidized or waived in order to help the masses get by. We quickly became the toast of the international community for how seriously we took the matter and rightfully so. It appeared the government was putting the needs and lives of the people first.
But this was not to be the case for long as the government shortly after decided to abandon all progress in a very crucial moment when we should have been doubling down to fully rid ourselves of the virus. The lockdown was canceled under the guise of “people need to work” only to quickly be followed with an announcement of a new and widely deemed unnecessary voter registration program. Our airport was opened shortly after with claims that there would be an obligatory COVID-19 test on arrival for all visitors, but the contract for said testing somehow passed over the Ghanaian based Noguchi Institute, which had already been tirelessly conducting all tests in the country so far, and instead opted for a newly formed Dominican Republic company which lacked credibility. Furthermore, these tests which only cost $2 were overpriced at the airport at an outrageous $150, making them the most expensive in the world by far. Presently, we are bracing ourselves for a second wave as the number of cases has skyrocketed.
So where did it all go wrong? How could they undo such abundant goodwill with such inept incompetence? It’s been long said that the road to hell is paved in good intentions and judging from the how well-paved and hot we currently are, it doesn’t take a genius to guess where we’re headed barring a change of direction.