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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Columnist: Professor Douglas Boateng

SAR-COV-2: The cunning and elusive coronavirus that gave the world a wake-up call


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Death rate in Ghana as a percentage of known infections has dropped 1.45% from to 0.86%. In South Africa, it has increased from 1.2% to 1.7% and GLOBALLY from 6.2% to 6.9%.

As expected, due to increased testing, known infections as a percentage of Ghana’s total population has increased from 0.002% to 0.003%; in South Africa from 0.004% to 0.005%.

Globally, it has increased from 0.025% to 0.030%. SERIOUS and CRITICAL cases globally have decreased from 2.6% to 2.3%. In Ghana, it has increased from 0.35% to 0. 38%. and in South Africa from 0.3% to 1.19%. Again, please note that like the rest of the world Ghanaians and Africans are already developing antibodies and immunity to the virus.

SAR-COV-2 is here to stay. Like influenza (flu) viruses: (A, B, C & D) Coronavirus will be part of our daily life’s forever. Recovery rates will most likely become the benchmark for most countries. For example, the higher the recovery rate in country the more likelihood that tourists will be prepared to visit a county. Recovery rate also has a direct impact on foreign direct investment into a country.

Hopefully, with vaccines and medications, its long-term impact will be kept at a minimum. It is imperative that Government start putting appropriate systems in place to collect ongoing purposive data for informed decision making that will help determine the funding that will be regularly required for amongst others public health infrastructure development and management.

In summary, the Government of Ghana is doing relatively WELL with the purposive testing, tracing and overall management of the SAR-COV-2(ie Coronavirus and the associated disease (ie. COVID-19). For the record, to date, only South Africa has officially reported more purposive testing than Ghana in sub-Saharan Africa.

We just need to further intensify our testing plus constantly remind the population to respect the need for meaningful and workable social distancing, encourage further improvements in personal hygiene, wearing of face protection masks, regularly wash our hands, plus 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 still be negative in 48 to 72 hours. (Unless the individual has been infected before and already developed some immunity and antibodies). Therefore, each one of us has to be constantly on our guard.

Congrats to HE President and the Government for pushing for more tracing and purposive testing, plus the relative success of the partial lockdown. Without doubt, we will win the battle against this “cunning and elusive beast” and work towards achieving Ghana BEYOND AID.

May the ALMIGHTY continue to bless our beloved Ghana and the entire world. Keep hope alive, stay safe and blessed.

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