Greetings to you all. I am reaching out to you again, following my last message early last month. You are constantly in my prayers. I hope that you are coping well while this coronavirus crisis continues.
I have been closely monitoring developments in the country, particularly as it relates to the Ghanaian Community. I have maintained close communication with the leadership of the Ghanaian community in Italy. Your general wellbeing has been of great concern to me.
Your patronage of the twenty-four hour hotlines set up by the Ghana Embassy, continues to provide opportunity for giving callers much needed advice and counsel during these difficult times.
These are not normal times and it is natural that you may be facing a great deal of discomfort and a variety of depressing emotions while trying to come to terms with the situation. I wish to reassure you that we at the Embassy are with you in these difficult times, and empathise with you in all the stress and trauma you may be experiencing.
The important thing is to continue to stay safe by strictly adhering to the directives put in place by our host, the Italian authorities, and be law abiding.
As uncomfortable and disconcerting as it may be, the “stay at home” policy is for the common good. It is the best way to keep us safe from catching the virus.
Additionally, social distancing and personal hygiene practices, particularly the washing of hands, are still very important. Furthermore, please note that should you need to go out for any of the allowed reasons, you must ensure that you are properly attired with the wearing of appropriate face masks and gloves.
I would also like to emphasise that in the event that you need to step out, please use your phones as sparingly as possible. On reaching home, apply hand sanitizer to clean the phone very well. Our hands are constantly on our phones, making our mobile phones the worst possible contact point for contamination.
I will be keeping a motherly watchful eye over you from Rome. In the meantime, I entreat you to maintain regular contact with the Ghana Association leadership in your various localities. They are there to protect your interests and seek your welfare. Continue to maintain the spirit of camaraderie by making regular phone calls to your fellow members and neighbours. You should also remember your families at home in Ghana and elsewhere, to check on them. The spirit of unity that has kept us together in the past, should be reinforced during these trying and difficult times to help us through. This is particularly important for those who may be here alone with no family support, and will need someone to reach out to them.
As you may well know by now, Accra and Kumasi and their environs are in lockdown. It became necessary to put this in place to contain the spread of the virus in Accra and Kumasi. The good news is that the quarantine measures and rapid COVID 19 protocols and treatment facilities established by the team led by our President HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has yielded positive results. The Honourable Minister of Health has reported this week that of the 152 cases reported as receiving treatment, 33 in total have so far recovered. Unfortunately, 5 persons have passed away. We Ghanaians must take pride in the leadership of our President, more especially in the manner he is leading the management of the crisis. He needs our constant prayers and support, in his efforts to keep Ghanaians safe from this dreadful virus.
In line with our Ghanaian culture and traditional practises, I would also plead with you not to be too hasty in resorting to media, Watsap and other social media platforms, to give what may be termed “Breaking News”. We have a saying in Ghana, “OPANYIN DUA MA NNTI MA NNTI”. Which means that a mature person is very circumspect in giving out what he may have heard. That is, until he has had confirmation of the facts from the legitimate source. Certain matters should be left to the leaders of the community, family members and those whose right and privilege it is to tell the news. Let us respect our traditions, even though we may be away from home, giving our elders and leaders their due recognition. Before any information goes out, it should be crossed checked for authenticity. Most importantly it should be left to the rightful person to make the announcement. This will ensure that neither fear or panic nor distress is caused to those who may be affected by the news.
The Embassy is in regular contact with the authorities in Accra. I shall continue to keep in touch and update you with any further information and or directives.
May I conclude by wising you all well. It is my fervent hope and prayer that God will soon us through this crisis.
May the Good Lord continue to be with you all and bless our homeland Ghana.
EUDORA HILDA QUARTEY KORANTENG