Dr Gifty Quarshie-Ngessah, Medical Director, Midway Clinic, Accra, has asked commercial drivers to disregard ‘street talks’ that COVID-19 is for the rich.
She said cases being recorded showed that children, adults, the rich, poor, elite and illiterate were testing positive for the virus and called for cautiousness among all.
Dr Quarshie-Ngissah said this when Strategic Communications Africa Limited (Stratcomm Africa), presented some branded nose masks to commercial (Trotro) drivers at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange Bus Terminal.
“COVID-19 is real, between yesterday and today, about 762 persons in Ghana have tested positive and over 100 million people have tested positive globally,” she said, adding that, the infected persons were all not rich people.
Dr Quarshie-Ngissah said about 80 per cent of infected persons were asymptomatic and stressed the need for all to keep to the safety protocols, especially the wearing of nose masks, observance of social distancing and the washing of hand regularly with soap under running water.
Mr Kofi Baah-Boakye, Executive Director, Business Development, Stratcomm Africa, said the donation of 500 branded nose masks was in collaboration with the internationally recognized luxury fashion house, Christie Brown, and public transport advertising platform providers, TroTro TV.
He said the intervention came at a time when there was a sudden surge in the reported cases of COVID-19 infections in Ghana, with calls on Ghanaians to continue to observe safety protocols, particularly, wearing facemasks.
“We have been actively involved in the fight against COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic through our cartoon series, ‘Koo, The COVID Perfect,’ to educate Ghanaians on the safety protocols and prevention guidelines,” he said.
He said through its partnership with TroTro TV, the cartoon series aired daily on the popular TroTro TV, in about 300 vehicles, reaching thousands of commuters daily and aired on some major TV stations.
Mr Baah-Boakye said the production, which was designed and produced in house by Stratcomm Africa staff, formed part of a larger campaign to facilitate an appreciation of the severity of the virus and necessary precautions to stay safe in everyday situations, such as riding public transportation or gathering in busy transit areas.
Mr Baah-Boakye said drivers played a critical role of conveying people from one destination to the other and that the journeys could be major silent conveyors of the virus.
“We trust that in donating these facemasks to drivers, they will be important vehicles through whom the message of COVID-19 prevention is conveyed and driven home to as many Ghanaians as possible,” he said.
Mr Baah-Boakye said Coronavirus was real and still “taking lives, separating loved ones, destroying businesses and slowing down our economy,” and said the reported cases were not just numbers and that they represented people who we knew and loved.
Mr Samuel Quartei Quartey, Welfare Vice Chairman of the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange Bus Terminal, who received the Christie Brown designed facemasks, thanked Stratcomm Africa and its partners for the gesture.
He admonished drivers to enforce the strict wearing of facemasks by passengers.
Ms Faustina Mensah, Operations Manager of TroTro TV, said; “We are proud to partner Stratcomm Africa and Christie Brown on this important initiative. By collaborating with Stratcomm Africa and Christie Brown to make this donation, we are also making available to our valued drivers and their assistants, the messages on COVID-19 prevention that they hear daily through the famous TroTro TV channels.
Some episodes of the Koo series in various Ghanaian languages were shown to the audience, with an interactive session through, which the public present was educated.