Ghana could see an 80 per cent drop in Covid-19 infections if 75 per cent of the population wears the appropriate masks.
This is according to a Covid-19 modelling team at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
One of the researchers, Dr Emmanuel de-Graft Johnson Owusu-Ansah says the team’s forecast can be realised within 45 days if Ghanaians wear Food and Drugs Authority approved masks.
“Actually, if we have 90 percent of the city dwellers and those few people in the village combined to reach 75% of the population, then our Covid-19 [cases] will reduce in one-and-half months,” he said.
He, however, pointed out the prevalence of masks made from ordinary fabric did not meet FDA standards and created a false sense of protection against the contact with the virus.
“For example the ‘sponge ones’, which people are using are not protective enough and it’s like wearing nothing,” Dr Owusu Ansah noted.
He was speaking online at the 9th annual Ghana Science Association Research Seminar and Poster Presentations 2020.
The team has been working on different scenarios for forecasting the trend and impact of the various mitigation measures instituted as a means to help inform decision-makers.
“The team evaluates behavioral changes (mitigation and suppression measures) proposed by public health experts, aimed to impact on the transmission rate of COVID-19”, he explained.
The research focused on Ghana’s current situation such as the reproductive cycle of the virus, its doubling time and projected capacity of the healthcare system.
The webinar was done in collaboration with KNUST’s College of Science and the National Sports Authority.
It was under the theme, ‘Using Science, Technology and Innovation in the Current Pandemic and Beyond’.
Dr Jacob Agbenorhevi is Kumasi Branch President of Ghana Science Association.
He is hopeful the meeting would provide a platform to share research works and innovations for the fight against Covid-19.
“The current impact of Covid-19 and beyond presents an ever-increasing call for science to be more innovative, multidisciplinary and collaborative to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations. Therefore, let us all continue to work together relentlessly for the common good,” Dr Agbenorhevi urged.