Richmond Aryeetey, Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Ghana, observed that most of the world’s politicians do not understand the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic that the world is actually facing.
In an interview with Johnnie Hughes on Group Connect on 3FM Friday 5 February, he clarified that many people are not concerned about compliance with the protocols because their governments have not shown adequate interest and urgency in combating the pandemic.
Asked if he was happy with behavioral improvement and communication in the search to combat the virus, he said, “Many people are searching for a solution, not just in Ghana, but all over the world, and no one has been able to find a way to communicate the danger in a way that people can really understand it, so it’s a bit difficult.
“I don’t think we understand the size of the challenge we have at the population level. It is often not fully understood at the level of policy-making and enforcement.
“When these three variances come together, that probably is an expression of what we are seeing currently.”
Prof Aryeetey further claimed that once policymakers apply urgency to the fight against the epidemic, the community would also continue to adopt an inappropriate mindset towards the pandemic.
“I think that until those who are in charge, those who make decisions really appreciate the scale of the problem, nobody will be able to act very well,” he said.
Asked again whether or not he found the deliberate attempt to politicize the gains made in the battle against COVID-19 and to equalize it by drowning the voice of the technocrats who should be leading the charge at this stage, he said, “It’s not shocking, it’s not just happening in Ghana, it’s happening everywhere.
“When you watch the headlines in the UK, there’s something similar going on there. We remember what happened in the US last year, too.
“But the question we need to ask ourselves is that we haven’t built a space for others who know how to make their voices heard. I think that if those who are in charge, those who make decisions truly understand the size of the crisis, nobody will be able to behave very well.
“We saw it very clearly before Boris Johnson got it, his attitude was different, and after he got it, his attitude was different. Leadership and decision making are also very important to these concerns. We’re all hoping that this is far from child play, and I’m not sure that we’ve hit it yet.
“I hope that things will increase in the way they do.”
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has announced that the country’s death toll of COVID-19 has now reached 440.
A total of 697 new COVID-19 cases have also been reported, with a total of 6,086 active cases recorded. 497 individuals have since died from the outbreak, taking the cumulative number of recoveries to 62,340.