Covid-19 in Ghana: an update on the fight against the pandemic by Emmanuel Krah Plarhar

How is the situation evolving?
Ghana recorded its first 2 cases of COVID-19 on 12th March 2020 and since then there has been an upsurge in the number of cases. Ghana has cases to 49,004 cases in total (Sep. 19th update). [1] The peculiarity about the cases is that the country has about 80% recoveries and 554 active cases. The situation has also evolved to politics where both the ruling party and opposition party have started to use how the cases are rising as a political issue to score points with the electorate. This is because Ghana will have its election in December and this factor has become a campaign avenue for the political parties. This is quite unfortunate because nobody should play politics with health.

Another evolving factor is that Ghana went under partial lockdown for about 3 weeks and gradually life is returning back to normalcy. Gradually churches are also functioning now. At first churches were being made to accommodate half of their capacity with only an hour of service; now, they are made to function fully with only 2 hours of service. Transportation, hotels, pubs and other facilities are also functioning fully now.

The situation started as a community spread over the past few months, it is now spreading in workplaces. With frequent disinfection of workplaces and markets and churches, the numbers are no longer surging as they used to some 3-2 months ago.

How local populations are dealing with this situation?
The irony about this is that, when Ghana first recorded its first 2 cases, there was a lot of fear and panic and people were more careful but now that the cases are rising, it seems people do not care again. The issue with the local population is somewhat mixed. People are disregarding the safety protocols and are not paying attention to safety precautions as they should.

The situation has been managed very well by the health personnel, security
personnel (both of which are called frontline health workers) and policies put in place by the government. Some believe the virus does not exist and is just a plot by the government. Others believe that they have God, and so no harm shall befall them. These people, due to their beliefs, are not adherent to the safety measures and is an issue the government is tackling

His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo has been one of the outstanding politician in Africa during this pandemic situation.

His regular addresses to the nation on the status and fight of the COVID-19. This keeps the citizenry well informed of what the government is doing and our position thus far. To some extent, it restored some amount of calm in the country. His handling of the situation at first was impressive thus he placed the country under partial lockdown, all borders were closed, the health ministry immediately started with direct tracing of affected people. But then the situation took a turn when he started listening to his political advisors rather than his health and safety advisors. Policies put in place were more focused on solutions that will fulfil political reasons. For instance, sending some students back to school and starting with the electoral register. These events saw a higher upsurge in the cases. But overall, his performance during this situation has been good.