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UCC students face difficulties observing covid-19 protocols on campus

Some students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) have said that they are facing a lot of challenges in adhering to the safety protocols.

Even though some students of the university were still adhering to the safety protocols within campus, some of them revealed that, they faced breathing difficulties, heart burns and headaches whenever they wore the mask for a long period of time.

In an exclusive interview with students, they indicated that due to the difficulties they faced, while some of them tend to remove their masks whenever they felt uncomfortable wearing them, others lowered the masks below their jaws to enable them breathe properly.

Some students with their masks below their jaws

Aside from the problems associated with the wearing of facemask on campus, the social and physical distancing is one of the safety protocols that appeared have been thrown to dogs as majority of the students failed to observe that in both their halls of residence and lecture rooms.

A level 300 student, Ms Esther Mensah indicated that the nature of the seats in some lecture rooms made it difficult to observe social distancing in the lecture rooms, adding that some larger classes were also assigned smaller lecture rooms.

“The seats in some of the lecture hall are supposed to take as many as five people so we have no option than to pack ourselves together. Also, some courses which have large number of students are sometimes assigned small lecture room, and that makes it difficult for them to practice social distancing in such lecture rooms,” Ms Esther said.

To some, the reason they did not practice social distance when they were with their friends was that, they were used to interacting and mingling with their colleagues and found it very difficult to keep a distance whenever they were together.

Prior to the resumption of school in the midst of the covid-19 virus, management of the university provided veronica buckets, sanitizers and tissue papers at the entrances to various facilities in the school to ensure that students and staff washed their hands before they enter the facilities.

However, some few weeks after resumption of school, most of the veronica buckets and sanitizer containers were found to be empty, allowing people to enter the school’s facilities without observing the hand washing protocol.

“Even though there are veronica buckets at some vantage points on campus where students can wash their hands, there are times when there’s no water in them. Those that may contain water too there will be no soap to wash the hand. You go there to wash your hands after which there is no tissue to wipe your hand. As for the sanitizer container, it has always been empty,” a student, Joseph Koomson said.

Meanwhile, the section of students who lived in hostels situated in the Amamoma community were compelled by police patrol team which was deployed to enforce the adherence to the safety protocols to wear the masks even though they were not comfortable.

Speaking to the leader of the police patrol team, Mr Amos Obeng, he stated that people should not choose comfort over safety, adding that due to the recent increase in the number of positive covid-19 case across the country, everyone was required, as directed by the president of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akofu-Addo to strictly adhere to all the protocols irrespective of the challenges they may faced.

“The only punishment we give students who do not wear their face masks is that, we ensure they buy one and wear it instantly before we release them. As university students, we expected them to know better and to even serve as ambassador who will be sensitizing the uneducated ones in the communities on the need to protect themselves,” Mr Obeng indicated.

Considering the pace at which the virus keeps spreading across the country and the inadequacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) on UCC campus, it will be prudent for students to procure PPEs for themselves and to strictly adhere to all the safety protocols irrespective the challenges they face, to prevent possible outbreak of the virus on campus.

Source: Rejoice Elinam Tefutor |