As of May 7, 2020, the country’s case count was 3091 cases with 303 recoveries and 18 deaths.
This is not the first time the world has had to deal with a pandemic. History has shown that anytime there was a pandemic, it changed the way countries did several things by the time it was gone.
One can then say that even though pandemics took the lives of people, it also brought with it a better way of life.
What would have been your reaction if a pastor prophesied at the watch-night service on December 31, 2019, that countries including Ghana will close their borders and even turn away foreign flights? Would you have believed if he added that governments would make available some of the highest stimulus packages in history?
Wouldn’t you have doubted if he/she added that your wedding would be postponed because of a virus that will be recorded worldwide?
But that is the case now. A fleet of aeroplanes are packed at airports, hotels are closed, seminars and conferences have been cancelled or are being held virtually, borders are closed, businesses are on their knees, experts have predicted that the economy will need time to bounce back.
Even developed countries are succumbing to the heavy pressure on the health facilities due to COVID-19.
But all does not seem lost.
Just as the global flu epidemic of 1918 helped create national health services in many European countries, the novel coronavirus can cause changes in the world, especially Africa and Ghana in particular.
In his eighth address to the nation on measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19, President Akufo-Addo said coronavirus has shown the “Covid-19 that has exposed deficiencies in our healthcare system.”
Did it have to take COVID-19 for President Akufo-Addo to realise there are lapses in our healthcare system? Had he never heard of the women who die during delivery or receive the worst healthcare? Did he not know the reason why his fellow politicians including himself visit other European countries to receive healthcare? Was he not aware of Ghanaians crying of politicians failing the electorates who vote them into power by not providing the best health system?
Coronavirus has now restricted travel abroad for healthcare. The politician has realised the need for a better healthcare system because they cannot travel out of the country.
Sorry! I digressed.
In the address, Nana Akufo-Addo said “there are eighty-eight (88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have 5 infectious disease control centres dotted across the country, and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why the government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals.”
He added that: “each of them will be a quality, standard-design, one hundred bed hospital, with accommodation for doctors, nurses and other health workers, and the intention is to complete them within a year. We have also put in place plans for the construction of six new regional hospitals in the six new regions, and the rehabilitation of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.”
So, the first thing I expect to change due to the novel coronavirus is our healthcare system. This is the first thing I expect to change because the President spoke about it.
The virus has shown us that the Ghanaian government can do a lot of things on time. The government could close the borders and say no to superpowers and countries we have often believed that Ghana can never say no to.
After this novel coronavirus phase, I expect that the Ghanaian government will put its citizens first in signing contracts instead of the financial gains.
I expect that we will not wait for another pandemic before we fumigate the markets in the country. Instead, the local government assemblies will fumigate the markets often and ensure proper sanitation in those places.
Another change I look forward to is the stable provision of utilities. The power and water supply in most areas during this COVID-19 period has been better than before. I hope that this is maintained or improved so Ghanaians can enjoy fully what they pay for.
We still have challenges protecting our borders from illegal immigrants. However, during this time we have seen the authorities at the borders stepping up to perform better than we have always known or heard.
READ ALSO: COVID-19 cases in Ghana move up to 3,091
Even though some people have decided to flout the rule by entering Ghana illegally or getting Ghanaians to help them, the security agencies at the borders have done a great job.
In this COVID-19 era, I choose to see the glass half full instead of half empty. I know we have lost lives. Each person who is dead meant so much to somebody I may never know.
I’m hopeful that we will make these lost souls smile by changing Ghana for the better even after we pass the novel coronavirus phase.
Pulse Opinion is the opinion of the editorial team or team member of Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organization Pulse.