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General News of Saturday, 25 April 2020


Coronavirus: Too early to say we've contained the virus - Virologist

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A Virologist with the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) has admonished government to tread cautiously over its assertion that the virus that causes coronavirus has been contained.

Dr Michael Owusu said Ghana’s bulwark against the virus will be tested when hospital capacities are exceeded.

For now, he maintained, the case fatality is moderate as compared to the number of confirmed cases.

Dr Owusu expressed made this known to host Abena Tabi while sharing his opinion on TV3/3FM’s The Key Points on Saturday, April 25.

Since the first two cases of coronavirus were recorded in the country on Thursday, March 12, Ghana has so far confirmed 1,277 more cases.

A total of 10 persons have lost their lives with 134 persons beating the disease.

There was an imposition of a lockdown on some four cities in the country – Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi – in an attempt to trace contacts of the first few patients and test them as well as dispense medical treatment to those found positive.

This took a three-week period after which the Akufo-Addo-led government said the virus has been contained, thereby lifting the lockdown.

After the lifting of the lockdown, 237 more cases with one death have been recorded.

Dr Owusu said the lockdown period should have been used to educate and sensitise the citizenry on the disease.

“It is becoming difficult to help [the citizens] because now they think the plan is over,” he observed.

According to him, after the lockdown some people virtually celebrated thinking all is over.

But the virologist said for a system to be said to have contained the virus, its health centres and personnel should meet overflowing cases.

It is when the system is stretched, he opined, that its robustness is seen.

The US, Italy, Spain and some of the other hard-hit countries suffered heavily from the virus after their hospitals could not admit the number of patients brought in.

“In order to do well, you have to make sure your measures are in place,” Dr Owusu stressed, adding that when these measures are not properly put in place and there are cases of deaths, “you cannot reverse it”.