President Akufo-Addo on Sunday lifted targeted lockdown on two major regions in the country citing improved testing of the coronavirus pandemic across the West African country.
In the over half-an-hour address delivered to the nation, the president also announced that Ghana’s tally had passed the 1,000 mark. Ghana becomes the first African country to not extend but lift a lockdown.
Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and more recently Zimbabwe have all extended lockdowns aimed at curbing spread of the pandemic. Government however warned that lockdowns could be imposed in hotspots if need be.
Some key facts from the address included:
- Ghana has traced 86,000 contacts so far
- 68,500 of the number have since been tested
- 18,000 test results expected
- 1,042 (1.5%) confirmed cases as of April 19
- 67,549 (98.5% negative) tested negative
- 930 people responding to treatment at home or government facilities
“Indeed Ghana is the only other country in Africa to have conducted more than 60,000 tests and we are ranked number pone in Africa in administering of tests per million people. The decision to impose restrictions on movement was backed by the data at hand and our next course of action is backed by data and by science,” the president said.
April 18: Ghana shoots to sub-Saharan Africa’s third most impacted
After a day without release of figures, i.e. April 17; government released latest figures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana. The case count stands at 834 which indicates an increase of 193 patients.
The cases were recorded across the country according to officials. There was also good news for recoveries which also went from 83 to 99 indicating an increase of 16.
The new case count means that Ghana is sub-Saharan Africa’s third most impacted nation behind South Africa with over 2,700 cases and Cameroon with 1,017 confirmed cases.
Meanwhile Pariliament has approved a $1bn interest-free loan facility given by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, earlier this week to help cushion the country from the effects of the ongoing pandemic, local news outlet Citi News reported
Ghana was at high risk of debt distress, the IMF said in a statement. It said the large disbursement of emergency aid would help the West African countries address urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs, and catalyze support from other development partners.
April 17: Recoveries recover by 66
Ghana’s COVID-19 statistics as of April 16 stood at 641, with five new cases recorded, 83 recoveries and eight deaths, the information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a press briefing in the capital Accra.
The figure especially relative to recoveries was the biggest one-day rise. The latest figure of 83 meant that 66 more recoveries had been added to the paltry 17 of the day before.
The tally is still on the low side comparative to other countries that have recorded 400 cases and above. Ivory remains West Africa’s most impacted country along with Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger and Senegal.
WEST AFRICA’S MOST IMPACTED NATIONS: As of April 7 (Case, recovery)
- Ivory Coast = 688, 193
- Ghana = 641, 83
- Niger = 609, 105
- Burkina Faso = 546, 257
- Nigeria = 442, 152
- Senegal = 355, 194
April 15: Ghana’s coronavirus figures: galloping cases, snail-pace recoveries
The West African nation of Ghana is one of the continent’s most impacted countries in terms of coronavirus infection. The country has recorded 636 confirmed cases (as of April 15). The first cases were confirmed on March 12, 2020.
The government has been lauded for its progress in the area of testing, Ghana placed a distant second behind South Africa according to a recent report by Worldometer – a site that specializes in global statistical aggregation.
Three day boom – 408 to 636
Ghana as of April 11, 2020 had tested over 37,000 people and at the time had 408 cases. Ghana was sandwiched between South Africa and Egypt in first and third spots with 73,000+ tests (1,265 cases) and 25,000 tests (1,204) cases respectively.
Three days later, Ghana’s tally had increased to 636, the second highest in the sub-region only behind neighbouring Ivory Coast which had recorded only two cases more with 638 cases. Ghana’s biggest jump over the three-day period being 158 cases from 408 (April 11) to 566 (April 12).
By April 14, another 70 cases have been recorded bringing the tally to 636. Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in reacting to the increase in cases stressed that it was largely due to proactive measures by government.
He wrote in a tweet thread of April 13: “The mix of measures to aggressively go in search of it while limiting importation is the reason for which we have found 274 more cases.
“The enhanced tracing and testing coupled with the mandatory quarantine systems is yielding results. Had we not adopted this approach, the 274 extra will be with us potentially continuously spreading the virus.” That was before 70 more cases brought the tally to the current 636.
Recoveries in need of recovery
Recoveries in relation to COVID-19 are a key pointer to how treatment of cases is progressing. As a norm across most African countries, recoveries outnumber deaths – in fact, the same is the case globally.
But Ghana’s recovery figures are much lower compared to countries that have passed the 500 mark in terms of infections. Senegal at a point Africa’s most impacted currently reports 299 cases with 183 recoveries, two deaths – the first being a celebrated son of the land, Pape Diouf.
Burkina Faso took over from Burkina with a surge in cases weeks back. Yet Ghana’s northern neighbour’s tallies stand at 528 cases, 177 recoveries and 30 deaths. Ivory Coast the ECOWAS leader has 638 cases, 114 recoveries and 6 deaths.
With 636 cases, Ghana’s 17 recoveries is dwarfed by neighbours whose recoveries are in the hundreds. Nigeria with 373 cases has recorded 99 recoveries and 11 deaths, Niger with 570 cases had also recorded 90 recoveries. One thing is clear, and that is, in the absence of a boom in recoveries, Ghana’s recoveries need recovery.
Worryingly yet, according to the Ghana Health Service website, only two out of the total number of active cases are
in critical condition.
Quick Statistics: Ghana COVID-19 file
- Confirmed case = 636
- Recoveries = 17
- Deaths recorded = 8
- Regions impacted: 10 out of 16
- Most impacted region: Greater Accra Region