A Health Economist, Nana Kofi Quakyi has called for the social distancing model which Ghanaians have been advised to practice to be intensified as a more effective way of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The total number of confirmed cases in the country currently is nine.
According to the Ghana Health Service, the infected persons are in isolation, receiving treatment and are recovering.
On The Point of View on Wednesday, Nana Kofi Quakyi advised that community transmission of the virus will be prevented if social distancing is intensified as early as possible.
“It’s not even a question of recommending. It’s where we would have to go eventually because the reality here is that in fighting this disease, we don’t have a vaccine or cure so if you have ongoing community transmissions, you have to interrupt the transmission somehow. If we’re not able to get a hand of it quick enough, then it will be necessary to have intensive social distancing,” he said.
Throwing more light on how safe or not Ghanaians are in terms of how far the government has gone with the contacts that have been traced, he noted that “it depends on how accurate the tracing has been”.
“If we traced 381 and that is everyone who was contacted, then we are safe or the risk is somehow mitigated. But if it’s not 100% accurate, then there’s always the risk of ongoing community transmission in which case, some degree of social distancing will be necessary until we identify all these contacts or until enough time has passed during the social distancing regime that the people who are sick have now recovered and are no longer infectious,” he added.
Government must cushion Ghanaians with stimulus packages
Following the economic devastation being caused by the pandemic, the Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance, Ken Thompson, also on The Point of View called on the government to support businesses that have been tax compliant.
According to him, this should be part of a bigger emergency plan to bring relief to Ghanaians immediately, and safeguard the economy from crumbling.
“We really need a stimulus package, but because a lot of our economy is informal, I think if we provide direct support, the money will be ‘chopped’. So, first, I think it is a good time to reward those who pay taxes. So, for example, what the government can do is to suspend the payment of tax and Social Security, and the money will be given to the employees to put in their pockets. It will also benefit people who are more vulnerable.”
381 contacts traced
As of Wednesday, March 18, 381 people had been identified to have been exposed to the Coronavirus disease in the country.
This was announced by the Head of Public Health of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie.
He said all the contacts so far have been linked to the first six Coronavirus patients in Ghana.
All the patients are self-quarantining and being monitored daily.