PART 2: SUMMARY OF THE FACTS (21st APRIL 2020)
BY PROF DOUGLAS BOATENG
The death rate in Ghana as a percentage of known infections has dropped to 0.86%. In South Africa it is at 1.7% and globally at 6.9%. As expected, and as a result of increased testing, known infections as a percentage of Ghana’s total population has increased from 0.002% to 0.003%. In comparison, South Africa’s infection rate has increased from 0.005% to 0.006%. Globally, it has increased from 0.030% to 0.032%. Serious and critical cases globally have decreased from 2.3% to 2.2%. In Ghana, serious cases as a percentage of recorded infections have increased from 0.35% to 0.48% and in South Africa there has been a decrease from 1.19% to 1.04%.
SAR-COV-2 is here to stay. Like the influenza (flu) viruses, namely Influenza A, B, C and D, this Coronavirus will be part of our daily lives forever. Again, please note that like the rest of the world, Ghanaians and Africans are already developing antibodies and immunity to the virus. Hopefully with vaccines and medications, its long-term impact will be kept at a minimum.
Recovery rates will most likely become the benchmark for economic rejuvenation for most countries. For example, the higher the recovery rate in a country the higher the likelihood that tourists will be prepared to visit that county. Recovery rate will also have a direct impact on foreign direct investment into a country.
It is imperative that Government start putting appropriate systems in place to collect ongoing purposive data for informed decision making that will help to determine the funding that will be regularly required for among other things, public health infrastructure, development and management.
The Government of Ghana is doing relatively well with the purposive testing, tracing and overall management of the SAR-COV-2 (i.e. Coronavirus) and its associated disease – COVID-19. For the record, to date, only South Africa has officially reported more purposive testing than Ghana in sub– Saharan Africa.
Going forward, we need to further intensify our testing as well as constantly remind the population to respect the need for meaningful and workable social distancing, encourage further improvements in personal hygiene, regularly wash our hands, and isolate the infected for a defined period.
Finally, Ghanaians must be constantly made aware that testing negative today does not necessarily mean that one will be still be negative in 48 to 72 hours (unless the individual has been infected before and has already developed some immunity and antibodies). Therefore, each one of us has to be constantly on guard and take all necessary precautions to keep ourselves healthy.
Congratulations to HE President and the Government for the relative success of the partial lockdown and for pushing for more tracing and purposive testing. Without doubt, we will win the battle against this “cunning and elusive beast” and continue to work together towards achieving a Ghana BEYOND AID.
May the ALMIGHTY continue to bless our beloved Ghana and the entire world. Keep hope alive, stay safe and blessed.