President Nana Addo Dunkwa Akufo-Addo in his fourth address to the nation on Friday on the state of the nation since the outbreak of coronavirus in Ghana declared a partial lockdown for Accra, Tema and Kumasi.
The lockdown became effective 1am on Monday, March 30, 2020 and all the affected places which are described as the epicentres or hotspots of the disease are supposed to be under lock and manned by a joint force of the army and police force.
People had been advised to stay at home unless they have essential needs for which they needed to step out of their homes.
We stayed at home. Well, most of us did and depended on the media to tell us what was happening outside.
From all I’ve seen on television and social media, it rather seems we waited for this lockdown for so long.
Most people stayed at home because they were either scared of being ‘mishandled’ by the task force or they just do not have anything to do outside.
However, it seemed the lockdown was not well thought through.
The announcement was made on Friday to give us enough time to either flee these marked places or go on panic buying spree.
In each case, there were lots of recorded cases.
We threw social distancing away to crowded market places so we could stock up for weeks while others also took their belongings and fled to their hometowns.
There was enough time for all these but not for proper education on how the lockdown was going to be like.
The towns within these cities were named, the persons exempted from the restrictions were made known but not clearly so.
Information Minister, sir can you please tell us if the mobile money services are to operate or stay at home?
A mobile money operator in my neighborhood called me early morning to ask if he is also affected by the lockdown because a friend already told him he couldn’t open the shop otherwise soldiers were going to give him hefty slaps to reset his brain.
Now let’s take a look at how the day went:
Barriers were situated at some designated places to control vehicular movements while some of the men walked through the communities to make sure people stayed home. I watched videos of how the men in uniform asked some who flouted the directive to sit on the floor or do squats while holding the ears as a punishment. Some videos also displayed a little more than that. Some people were whipped.
In one of the videos from Citi TV, the soldiers caught two boys loitering and their excuse was that their grandmother sent them to go and buy airtime (phone credit) – I thought that was a necessity. No?
I also saw a video of a cargo car that was smuggling human beings to other regions. How do we achieve anything if we behave like this?
And then there were cases of residents preventing their natives from coming into the town because they fear they might come into contact with the disease. They shouldn’t have taken the law into their own hands. But everybody is scared in these times.
I saw a video of people of Korle Gono, I think, using the public toilet. So cool, right?
How people took the order
From videos shown on television, most of the streets were practically empty from morning to evening except a few people who allowed curiosity to take the better part of them and people who just wanted to be in town for the sake of being in town. But generally, we did well. The directive was taken seriously.
In conclusion, that was just the first day. There’s more room for improvement.
People are doing well not loitering in town but they still visit their neighbors and touch things and talk the whole day. It’s happening in my area. How do we deal with this pandemic if the purpose for which we’re to stay home is discouraged anyway?
Stay at home and chat on the phone. Your fine neighbour could be exposed to the disease.
If you’re bored, read books, watch television, play music and dance or go on social media and join the challenges springing up- you could shave your eyebrows in exchange for GH¢100. Yes, that was the challenge Pappy Kojo came up with yesterday.
Stay home and stay safe.