The outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) spreading rapidly across the world since December 2019, following the diagnosis of the initial cases in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since the beginning of March 2020, the number of cases outside China increased thirteen fold and the number of affected countries tripled. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic as the coronavirus rapidly spreads across the world.
Infectious mounting in Europe, South Korea, Iran, the United States, and amongst other countries with authorities implementing increasingly restrictive measures to contain the virus. At the sectorial level, Culture, Tourism and travel-related industries were among the hardest hit as authorities encourage “social distancing” and consumers stayed indoors. Similarly, shares of major hotel companies plummeted with entertainment recorded a significant blow to revenues. Restaurants, sporting events, cinemas and other services also faced significant disruption.
Ghana’s Health Minister Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who has been leading Ghana’s fight against Covid-19, was not left out as reportedly contracted the disease. This scenario is an indicative of the devastating effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the lives and development of a Nation such as ours.
In response to the pandemic, severe efforts have been made by various stakeholders in containment of the spread of the virus such as the Government of Ghana, Ministry of Ghana, Ghana Health Service, Food and Drugs Board, Christian Council of Ghana and the Media. And also some external stakeholders like the World Health Organization (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Effort of the National Commission on Culture
In effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, The National Commission on Culture and its Regional Agencies and Districts across Ghana, adopted and promoted the recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) which includes avoidance or limitation of physical contact such as handshake and other forms of usual contact, regular washing of hands under running water, rubbing of hand with alcohol-based sanitizers and reducing or limiting large gatherings among the general public. Coughing into elbow or tissue and disposing of it into a bin, wiping of door handles and spaces with alcohol-based sanitizers were also recommended. Preventive behavioral change messages were also developed and disseminated through various platforms including; Radio, Television, Social Media, Print Media and theater for development nationwide, With the immense support of the Covid-19 Trust Fund. Their activities included educating communities about the condition, and providing psychological support through drama and puppetries (edutainment).