Editorial: Community spread of COVID-19 requires strict adherence to Presidential Directives  

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Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed that 70 percent of confirmed cases between March and April have had no travel history. As at the time of going to press, the COVID-19 count of infected cases in the country has spiked to 636 with eight deaths.

Bearing this in mind, we believe the extension of the partial lockdown by one week was in the right direction to give ample space to the contact-tracers to rope in all who might have been affected. Now our worst fears are beginning to surface. The virus is now mainly being spread through community contact which makes it imperative for Ghanaians to strictly adhere to directives issued by the Presidency.

The security services have stepped up their monitoring and are detaining those found to be flouting the directives without tangible reasons and that is also encouraging. However, many are they who believe that this whole virus attack is not as serious as portrayed and are moving up and down the city with impunity.

It goes to reinforce the notion that as a country, we are entering a new phase of COVID-19 cases since the country is increasingly witnessing the horizontal spread of the disease. This requires us to redouble our efforts in the battle against the pandemic.

More testing centres are needed if we are really to contain the spread of this novel virus. The Ayawaso West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region has also been identified as COVID-19 hotspot in Accra. Its Municipal Health Directorate is undertaking a house to house tracing and testing exercise to identify potential infected cases.

Our worry is that the Municipality is a hotbed for people who live in compound houses that share common bath and toilet facilities, and the manner the residents live closely to each other raises added fears that these are ripe conditions for the accelerated spread of the virus in the community and care has to be taken and ensure no stone is left unturned.

The World Health Organisation has warned that lifting coronavirus restrictions too early would spark a deadly resurgence and we must take note of this advice as the number of infected cases increase exponentially.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says countries should be cautious about easing restrictions, even as some struggle with the economic impact. While we agree that the economic toll of COVID-19 is hurting, we still believe it is better to rid the country of the virus before normal economic activity can resume in earnest.

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