Is Ghana Prepared for a Total Lockdown?

Dr. Michael Owusu, a senior research scientist, and lecturer at the Department of Medical Diagnostics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has said 50 to 60 percent of Ghana’s population are likely to be exposed to COVID-19 due to the increasing cases of community transmission if safety protocols are not properly observed.

In his view, about 14 to 15 million people out of the country’s 28 million population could contract the coronavirus.

The Clinical Microbiologist is also predicting that the aged population in Ghana which is about 1.4 million representing five percent (5%) of the total population of the country, according to the 2010 population census “are likely to die when infected if they don’t adhere to the safety measures the government and health experts have put in place.”

“We should also think into the fact that we can overwhelm the health care sector such that those who have malaria, those who will get accident and other people with underline conditions may not get a place to be attended to in the hospitals and we are likely to lose all these people. So the precautions of staying indoor and social distancing and limiting movements are very crucial at this moment’’ he stressed.

 

Dr. Owusu said, though lockdown is part of measures government must consider, it is not fully prepared for that because a lot of factors need to be put in place before taking such a drastic step.

“A lot has to go for a lockdown, from what I’m seeing. I don’t think we are prepared. A lockdown involves a lot of thinking and structural planning to enable us to do this. A lot of people in Ghana are in the informal structure, there are some who if they don’t go to the market to sell, they will not get anything. So the MMDCEs, and DCEs must begin to have a plan. Yes, we can limit movement, we must make people sit indoors if we have to give people incentive to stay indoors; we must begin to do that’’ he suggested.

He also recommended that the regulation of market days should also be considered as measures to reduce congestion and control the spreading of the virus in communities.

the Board Chair of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye

The Board Chair of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye

Is there any reason for Ghanaians to panic?

However, the Board Chair of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye says there’s no reason to panic because a huge number of coronavirus deaths in countries like China and Italy were old people who mostly had other health conditions. He stressed that the elderly population in Ghana is about 5% which is considerably less as compared to these countries.

“Let’s go with the advise, that’s my stand but there’s no reason to panic because testing positive for corona doesn’t mean you’re ill or about to die”, he stressed.

“You test positive because you’ve come into contact before, the only reason why corona is making news is that it’s a news stream”, he added.