As COVID-19 cases escalate, let’s remain calm

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As of yesterday, the total case-count for COVID-19 jumped to 287 after the country recorded 73 more cases, the Ghana Health Service announced.

The regional distribution of cases are as follows: Greater Accra Region has most cases (258) followed by the Ashanti Region (18), Northern Region (10), Upper West Region (1), Eastern Region (1) and Upper East Region (1).

As the situation worsens, government is being urged to consider a lockdown of the Northern Region in order to avoid its exponential growth. Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, at a press briefing yesterday indicated that the Minister for Trade has selected some five companies to provide 3.6 million nose masks, and will take delivery of some 100,000 very soon.

This follows news that two staff of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus; there has been agitation from health workers over the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). Some have even threatened to withdraw their services if government fails to supply them with PPEs which include gloves, nose masks, and gowns among others.

All over the world, frontline health workers are most at risk since they come into close contact with victims; and the protection of our health workers is paramount, even though government has put in place some incentives to cushion them.

It is of utmost importance that such frontline health workers are protected so that they can offer the care and relief required to treat cases. Therefore, the press conference addressed by the Health Minister yesterday was timely and reassuring. The arrival of over 38,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical material from China has helped the situation to a large extent.

The Jack Ma Foundation, which recently donated a consignment of medical equipment to Ghana, is willing to give more PPE in the coming days – and that should wipe away the anguish of the health workers.

However, what is even more inspiring is the fact that some local companies have been tasked to manufacture PPEs for local utilization – which underscores the saying that necessity is the mother of invention.

We take solace from the Health Minister when he assured that in the next 7 days or so the whole country will be flooded with nose masks, especially for health workers.

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