Coronavirus is killing many people. Entire cities and countries are on lockdown. I don’t remember the last time this happened.
If we in Ghana and Africa convince ourselves that COVID-19 is not that dangerous, then we are wrong.
Every pandemic or epidermic has it’s strong weapon it uses to wipe people away. The likes of Ebola had high death rates. From picture 5 below, Ebola killed one in every 2 people who contracted it. That was it’s weapon.
Ebola was not highly contagious. In fact, chicken pox and measles are all 4 to 5 times more contagious. But Ebola was successful in causing havoc with its weapon.
COVID-19 does not have a high death rate. It is also not highly contagious compared to other diseases in the category. Those are not COVID-19’s weapons but this does not mean it is less dangerous.
COVID-19’s secret weapon is to ‘hide’ in the body of an infected person for 1-2 weeks, infecting other people during this period before symptoms and signs are even detected.
A person could contract it without being aware, spread it to people who also spread it before the first person starts showing signs.
So you wake up one morning and hundreds of people are sick. Health facilities are overwhelmed and you lose control as a system.
WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING IN GHANA AND AFRICA
So far, all the comments I hear on radio regarding the claim that Africans cannot be endangered or that we are not yet at high risk to close down schools and workplaces is worrying. We need to:
- GET RID OF THE ‘NON-AFRICAN’ MENTALITY
We must get rid of the notion that Africans are safe. The disease was not exposed to any group of Africans who showed an inability to contract it. The few Africans who had contact with infected people got infected!
- UNDERSTAND COVID-19’S WEAPON
We must understand that COVID-19 has its own dangers. The fact that it is not high-killing or as infectious as other diseases does not mean it is safe.
Let’s take all necessary precautions. COVID-19 can end up taking more lives than Ebola and MERS if we take things for granted.
Already, it’s a pandemic when Ebola for instance never got to that level.
- WE MUST REDUCE CONTACTS BEFORE IT GETS LATE!
It is reported that even in advanced countries with COVID-19, hospital beds are not enough. People have to book their names, go home and wait for beds. Some even die at home in the process.
The idea that we are not yet at high risk so people can still go about their normal activities is wrong in my opinion.
We have very poor health facilities. We cannot take any chances by waiting for many people to be infected before declaring any emergency, especially if we know the ‘secret transmission weapon’ of COVID-19.
- HOW WE SHOULD HAVE RESPONDED TO THE 2 CONFIRMED CASES
I got worried immediately the information minister mentioned that the two people infected were in Ghana for some time.
Immediately, the country should have declared a lockdown, especially at some parts of Accra so that contact-tracing is quickly conducted to see who were in touch with these two.
All the people who were in contact should have been quarantined and monitored for 2 weeks. If it’s all clear, then normal activities can resume on all lockdown areas.
Now that normal activities are ongoing, perhaps the ‘secret spread’ of COVID-19 is ongoing without our knowledge yet. I just hope I’m wrong about this.
- NAMES AND PHOTOS OF INFECTED PEOPLE SHOULD BE PUBLISHED.
I am seriously unhappy we are trying to ‘protect the identities’ of the people infected.
If you publish their identities, everyone who has been in contact for the past days would be alarmed immediately and rush to conduct the test.
It will help get more of them in one place to control and prevent the ‘secret spread’ which is the weapon of COVID-19.
- THE $100 MILLION SHOULD BE IN USE BY NOW!
I learnt on CitiFM this morning that the test is not conducted on the general public yet. I learnt many people have been wanting to get tested but they have been turned away because that is not the ‘procedure’. And that the test kits are not even that many.
This is so pathetic. What is the $100 million being used for yet? Why are there not enough test kits?
Every single soul we turn away and prevent from conducting a test is a probable case we are throwing into the general public.
Nobody requests for the test for no reason. They felt they were in contact with infected people or probably experienced some symptoms.
- DON’T PANIC
To be honest with you, what’s currently ongoing in Ghana is a bit scary and worrying. I hope we don’t wake up 2 weeks from now with our hands on our heads.
But don’t panic. Just take the warnings seriously. And if you know anyone who can do anything about the suggestions I’ve raised, tell them to do it.
The time is now.
Written by: Ebenezer Agbey Quist
See some related charts below: