There exist three strong arguments the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made in his 11th address on the COVID-19 pandemic, which should instil some hope as we continue to fight the novel coronavirus in the country. These arguments as presented by the President are purely based on biomedical statistics on the country’s case count relative to other African countries and the world at large.
His argument focused on the country’s enhanced testing and contact tracing approach, the positivity ratio, and COVID-19 related deaths. These thematic areas formed his argument with reference to how the country has fared since the first instance of the novel coronavirus was recorded [March 12, 2020]
Now let’s delve into the argument.
- Enhanced Testing and Contact Tracing
So far the country has conducted a cumulative 254, 331 test. These test are taken of both suspected COVID-19 cases and contacts of infected persons, much of which are identified through an Enhanced Surveillance System adopted by the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and allied agencies. The President argues that the rise in cases as experienced in recent times, is attributable to the fact that, we [Ghana] have an Enhanced Testing and Contact Tracing system. This assuredly, is to help us quickly identify, contain and manage persons who are infected or at risk of infection.
Relative to other African countries, Ghana’s testing and contact tracing approach has been commendable, with the World Health Organisation rating us highly in Africa. Undoubtedly, and as reechoed by the President, Ghana is among a few countries in the world, implementing and Enhance Contact Tracing, “and this makes our data qualitatively different and more effective in the fight against COVID-19”. It is anticipated that some reduction in the rate of new infections will be experienced soon. On this background, President Nana Addo said, a robust testing for COVID-19 is the surest way to curtail the spread of the virus.
- Positivity Ratio
This refers to the ratio of positive cases to total test conducted. With a total of Two hundred and fifty-four thousand, three hundred and thirty-one (254, 331) tests taken, eleven thousand, nine hundred and sixty-four (11,964), cumulatively, have confirmed positive, as at the time the President delivered his address. Out of this number, a total of seven thousand, six hundred and fifty-two (7,652) are currently active, thus; are still with the virus; and four thousand, two hundred and fifty-eight (4,258) having fully recovered and discharged from the various treatment of isolation centers. Currently, thirteen (13) persons are severely ill, and six (6) person placed on ventilators at their respective hospitals and isolation centers.
By simple statistical analysis of he data, the country’s positivity ratio stands at 4.7 percent.
- COVID-19 Related Deaths
Globally, the total number of COVID-19 related deaths stands as four hundred and thirty-five thousand, fifty-eight (435,058) and continues to rise. In Africa, the toll stands at six thousand, four hundred and fifty-five (6,455) and rising. In Ghana, sadly, our deaths rate has risen; cumulatively fifty-four (54). The President in his address argued that our death rates is comparatively “he lowest in Africa and the world”
The ratio of deaths to positive cases stands at 0.4 percent compared to the global average of 5.5% and the African average of 2.6%. So far, only one public official or representative of government has unfortunately died from the virus. The deceased, was a Mayor of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis, Anthony K.K Sam. Sadly, the celebrated Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has been hospitalized as he is reported to have contracted the virus.
Other Preventive measures
Government has, as part of the phased approach towards easing restrictions in the face of the pandemic, has partnered Zoomlion Ghana Limited to disinfect all government security installations, airports and land ports, schools, and other places deemed critical and relevant. It has also procured some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the various health institutions to be used by frontline workers. This support has been extended to all other frontline workers, and quiet recently, the tertiary institutions as they reopen schools today.
The pre-tertiary schools are equally eligible to receive such support from government when they reopen. Communities across the country have through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development supported with sanitary items and other essential items, so they could keep to enhanced hygienic protocols.
All these interventions are being backed with strict preventive protocols which have been documented and shared with the public and other organisations responsible as the country continues to ease up.
The impact of the virus, however is yet to be determined, yet government have been quiet proactive to cushion businesses amid the pandemic so they can sustain their operations.