The government must outline specific guidelines for persons at more risk of dying from COVID-19 as public gatherings restrictions are eased, a governance analyst, Kwame Mfodwo has said.
This is after the government came out with detailed conditions for religious gatherings.
He is of the view the various protocols released by the state may be neglecting more vulnerable persons.
“Basically what the government has done is approach the thing as if there were not a number of specific groups with specific needs,” Mr. Mfodwo on Monday’s edition of The Point of View.
“The current policy is one which favours younger people. It does not favour older people simply because when we do get ill, those of us with hypertension, diabetes, and an enormous number of us among the people from 50 onwards, we will actually end up not in the mild category or moderate category, but we will end up in severe and critical categories.”
“So I ask the government to actually provide guidance for specific groups who are at risk because what is happening now is basically just a broad thing as if everybody’s level of risk is the same,” he added.
There are demographics with underlying conditions who are at a high risk of death and critical illness because of the virus.
These people include the aged or elderly, and persons with diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory diseases, and other chronic illnesses.
Most of those who have died due to the virus had these conditions.
Guidelines for churches
President Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, announced that churches and mosques can begin converging again, and schools are reopened for final year students.
This was followed by a set of conditions for the resumption of church services in the phased easing of the COVID-19 induced restrictions.
- Churches are to ensure a No handshake, No hugging and No Spitting policy at all time.
- No crowded dancing and waving of handkerchiefs during church services.
- Microphones are to be sanitized immediately after each use.
- All persons who speak or sing in churches must wear facemask during service.
- Churches are to discourage singing in groups and instead use pre-recorded songs.
- Pre-packaged communion bread and wine should be picked up by members at the point of entry.
- Place offering bowls at the entrance and exit points for members to give offerings and tithes when entering or on their way out of church premises. Encourage cash transfers via mobile money or mobile banking as forms of giving offerings.
- In observance of social distancing protocols, laying on of hands should not be allowed.
Guidelines for mosques
Also among the advisories for mosques are that older persons and persons of any age with underlying medical conditions are being discouraged from attending the mosque.
- Mosques are to ensure each worshipper uses their own mat or disinfected mat.
- Ablution should be performed at home before heading to the Mosque.
- Worshipers are to use easily removable footwear such as slippers.
- Allow people to come out of the Mosque to collect slippers one after the other instead of crowding at the entrance.
- Thermometer guns must be provided for checking the temperature of members at entry points.
- There should be notices communicating ‘No facemask No entry’ policy.
- There should be the provisions of handwashing facilities with running water and soap and FDA-approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer.