The Vice-President of the Ghana Psychologists Association, Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, made the call during the Ministry of Information’s press briefing on COVID-19 held on Friday, 3 April 2020 in Accra.
Dr Badu Agyemang commended the role of the media in educating the public in the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country.
He stated: “I must commend the media houses, both those in the local language media houses, English and others use the language of the heart, speaking Twi, Ga and other languages in addition to English to be able to help people appreciate why we need not fear the psychological vice of panic, anxiety and others.”
He, however, urged the media to be cautious of their words while reporting COVID-19 issues.
“We must reflect on all the good things that we have, let’s be positive. And madam President urged me to mention that the media houses have done well but we want to encourage you, as professional psychologists, to be positive. Look at the positive side of coronavirus; let us avoid sensationalism. If people who do not encourage, who do not uplift, the people who don’t believe corona even exist, we shouldn’t entertain these ones in our media houses. We want to be mindful of the diction we use especially, if it’s the twi language; talking about isolated ones and we say ‘y’amantam omu’ – to wit, ‘they’ve been caged’, it connotes that we’re equating ourselves to animals. These are things that we want to avoid,” Dr Badu-Agyeman noted.
Ghana’s COVID-19 caseload has shot up to two hundred and four with 5 deaths and 3 recoveries.
Restrictions have been placed on movement in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, as well as Tema and Kasoa to prevent further spread of the virus.