Former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, has called on the government to be more proactive in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a critique of government’s approach to fighting the disease, Sylvester Mensah said: “In hindsight, Ghana would have been better off if we had taken steps much earlier to close our borders, stop flights into the country, and put our quarantine protocols in place.”
Describing efforts put in place thus far as “half-hearted” and “piecemeal,” Mr. Mensah said it is “a recipe for disaster, considering the exponential spread of this aggressive and highly contagious coronavirus.”
He noted that countries like Italy with more advanced health systems have been inundated with the toll the Covid-19 has exerted on them, adding Ghana must brace itself against such pressure.
“Whatever measures we would be putting in place in the worst case scenario, let’s implement them now and we would be glad we did,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, the President Akufo-Addo has extended the lockdown on Greater Accra and parts of the Ashanti region in a bid to control the spread of the virus.
The country’s case count stands at 378 with six fatalities and four recoveries, according to the President.
Read Sylvester Mensah’s full post below
Coronavirus kills by stealth and speed. Our usual slow-paced political decision making processes are no match for this silent speedy killer. Our ponderous processes, compromises, horse-trading, should-we-or-shouldn’t-we approach to decisions, allows the coronavirus to spread quickly while we are struggling to put counter measures in place.
Covid-19 stole a march on a world that was slow to understand and slow to act. The virus quickly spread beyond the original epicentre in Wuhan in China and became a pandemic before anyone could say Jack. China had to take prompt, unprecedented, drastic measures before gaining control over a hitherto runaway outbreak. Italy, Spain, Iran the US are all paying a heavy price in high death tolls from the Covid-19 outbreak. On Wednesday 8th April, 2020 the US alone recorded more than 1,800 deaths in a single day.
Despite the frightening escalation in death tolls in the advanced countries, here in Ghana our approach is typically and dangerously old school. “Let’s do a partial lockdown; let’s wait and see, contact tracing is adequate …” while the aggressive virus is silently spreading in our densely populated communities. Once a country begins to play catch up, a heavy price in medical costs, deaths and economic downturn awaits. In Italy and Spain, their more advanced healthcare systems were quickly overrun by the aggressive virus and they have not yet regained control.
In hindsight Ghana would have been better off if we had taken steps much earlier to close our borders, stop flights into the country, and put our quarantine protocols in place.
Our half-hearted, piecemeal approach to containment of the virus is a recipe for disaster, considering the exponential spread of this aggressive and highly contagious coronavirus. Whatever measures we would be putting in place in the worst case scenario, let’s implement them now and we would be glad we did.
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