Editorial: COVID-19 case-count sends disturbing signals

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As at the time of going to press last Friday, the country’s COVID-19 case-count had increased to 10,358; which sends disturbing signals. GHS data show that 16 of the active patients are in a severe condition, while six are critically ill.

So far, all 16 regions in the country have recorded at least one case. Data available from the GHS show rapid increases in the daily rate of new cases over the last few weeks.

The WHO’s sub-Saharan Africa Regional Office has named Ghana among the top-10 African nations driving the spread of COVID-19.

The others are South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Ivory Coast. According to the WHO, the aforementioned countries account for nearly 80% of all coronavirus cases on the continent.

WHO’s sub-Saharan Africa regional director, Matshidiso Moeti, acknowledges that Africa still only accounts for a small fraction of cases worldwide. However, Dr. Moeti said, the pace of spread is quickening.

Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Titus Beyuo, says the disease profile of COVID-19 in the country is changing. Dr. Beyuo noted that the availability of beds could be a potential problem, especially for patients who require intensive care.

It has therefore become imperative that all citizens adhere to the individual preventive measures, and take additional precautionary measures to protect themselves and their families as community spread accelerates.

The gradual easing of restrictions has given some people an impression that the virus is being contained, as many go about their business without wearing face-masks and little respect for frequent washing of hands and other precautionary measures.

From daily updates the GHS is churning out, it is quite clear that the country is not out of the coronavirus woods yet – consequently, the precautionary measures and health protocols must be religiously adhered to.

Commercial vehicles are not observing the social distancing protocol and are still racing to pick up as many passengers as possible to make ends meet. We believe public education must not be relaxed, since the citizenry seems to have relapsed to their old ways.

As more and more people report with symptoms, concerns are piling up as to whether healthcare facilities can accommodate and take care of them. This is no time to lower our guard, but rather to intensify the campaign.

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