COVID-19: Data shows Akufo-Addo’s measures are working

President Nana Akufo Addo

Directives issued by President Nana Akufo-Addo on March 15, 2020 after Ghana recorded its first cases of COVID-19 in the country are reported to be yielding some positive results.

These positive results follow a day-to-day data analysis trend of coronavirus recorded cases in the country as well as other COVID-19 hit countries by the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Dr Prince Hamid Armah.

According to him, the data vindicates the president’s directives and is a weight-off of the healthcare system and the minds of Ghanaians.

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Read fully analysis made by Dr Hamid Armah on the success of measures put in place by President Akufo-Addo:

As with all other national challenges we face, it is important that we take account of the hard data in the fight against novel corona virus, or COVID-19, as it has been properly named. Data is how we will know where we are in our efforts, what is working and what revisions we need to make to the strategy we are implementing. Without data, we are likely to succumb to hysteria and defeatism or be lulled into a false sense of optimism, based on anecdotal data or even the countless audios, videos and texts we are inundated with on social media. Thankfully, we have some data to asses (see Table 1).

A review of the records (see Figure 1) shows that in Africa, South Africa has the fastest infection rates. It also has the highest number of recorded cases. South Africa is followed by Egypt (456), Algeria (302) and Morocco (225), all of which are in North Africa. These rates are also among the highest among developing countries. For context, however, South Africa’s 709 cases are much fewer than Germany’s 40,585 recorded infections, which is itself at the lower end of infection rates in OECD countries. 

Closer home, we find that our
neighbour to the north, for example, is faring rather worse than we are (see
Figure 2). Burkina Faso recorded their first case just three days before we did
and continues to lead us by more than a dozen cases (132 Vs 146). Our infection
rate has gone up but only because of the robust testing measures we have
adopted. 

Of the one hundred and thirty-two
(132) recorded infections that we have had, only three so far have been through
community spread and two through contacts with returnees. Every other case we
have recorded has been of people coming into or returning to the country.
Seventy-eight (78) of those infections were recorded from among those that were
mandatorily quarantined on the orders of the president after the closure of
sea, land and airports on the midnight of Sunday 22nd March 2020. The silver
lining under this cloud here is that these seventy-eight (78) persons who
tested positive for the virus had had no contact at all with locals and could
therefore not have passed on the infection. This is a powerful vindication of
the government’s directive and a weight off not just the minds of Ghanaians but
our healthcare system.  For those that came in earlier, aggressive contact
tracing is helping identify those who had come into contact with infected
persons for testing and treatment, where necessary.       
  

Of course, we are not out of the
woods yet and we have to remain vigilant, follow the rules and protect
ourselves and our loved ones, but this data, on the whole, provides a glimmer
of hope that we will overcome this. Our infection rate is much slower than that
of our neighbours and is set to slow still with the recent, more aggressive
measures that have been enacted. It also means that we should not be in a haste
to adopt much more stringent measures as some are advocating. The spike in
infections actually shows that our methods are working and we are getting a
handle on the situation. Each new number from those quarantined represents
infections NOT passed on. As we move further to identify all those who arrived
in the country on or before 3rd March, 2020 and trace the contacts they have
had, we will arrive at a more accurate assessment of our position.  

What we have to do now is to support
these measures, keep faith with our leaders and follow the simple rules of
social distancing, improved hygiene practices and personal care. We must also
be sure not to give in to either hysteria or false confidence, both of which in
the current climate, are literally bad for our health. Slowly, steadily, with
God on our side, we will make it through this. As President Akufo Addo has
assured us, this too shall pass. And if we follow the rules, it will do so
quickly.