Last night, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo took the wind out of the sail of Covid-19 pundits.
The President in his 10th national Covid-19 broadcast announced a graduated approach to easing restrictions heretofore imposed in response to the national health emergency made possible by the international Covid – 19 PANDEMIC.
The President’s May 31, 2020 action was unexpected by a large of Ghana and he not unsurprisingly, came for significant bashing. But the President is correct. Time would Vindicate him. Covid – 19 is essentially over.
The infectivity of the virus isn’t any more of a mystery. The viral lethality and spread isn’t either. Whatever damage and cost is directly due to the virus is not only now within the firm appreciation of watchers and policy makers but so also is the cost indirectly related to the situation.
In balancing the odds then, decision and policy makers are taking action to ease restrictions all over the world, particularly as global leaders began to better appreciate the situation.
They now know that they have been misled by the likes of Professor Neil Fergusson to act in manner that incurred preventable costs.
They are in the known now that the situation is over with the sporadic, erratic, and diffused spikes here and there that would be contained and eliminated.
National and global actions aimed at gradual reversal of imposed restrictions are in recognition of this very fact.
It is in the light of this reality that the call by Ghana’s main opposition and it’s leader, John D. Mahama, for the Government of Ghana to mass test at this hour, is most ridiculous and out of place.
John Mahama is calling on the government of Nana Addo to mobilise said accumulated Covid-19 resource to conduct mass testing. The question would be: mass testing for what?
Does not Mahama have medical and health advisors?
If he does, do those not know that the time for mass testing is long gone?
Coronavirus, like the flu virus, does not exist forever.
The virus, like all other viruses, cannot and does NOT survive on its own. The virus require a host to survive at nearly all times and ran itself out over a period. It does not exist in a given population forever.
Mass testing that demography or population when the virus already ran itself out or about to is not predicated in any science, common sense, or reason, therefore.
It would be a wild goose chase at needless cost.
The novel coronavirus was a problem because world leaders, policymakers, scientists, watchers, and the masses were almost all clueless regarding the nature, spread, and cost.
But that prior confusion should no longer persist.
It is clear now that the virus ran itself out over a period. That not all people get infected by the virus.
That of those that may become infected, only a small proportion develop the Covid- 19 disease.
That of those that come down with the disease, only a fraction may develop severe forms of the disease and may get into critical condition.
That these are usually those of the vulnerable demography that include the aged, frail, immunocompromised, and people with co-existing morbidity.
That even those could be identified in time and provided indicated healthcare.
So that what at all is the problem with Covid-19 and or Sars – CoV2 when this understanding forms the basis for any individual, communal and national response?
Ghana failed to follow this clarity and proceeded in such hysteria guided response.
Even so, the national case fatality is not that significant for any person with grasp, to be overly worried about.
If in a spate of three [ 3 ] months, some 36 deaths are attributed to a said pandemic that necessitated the imposition of restriction act, we indeed had no problem, to begin with, and may have overreacted!
36÷3 = 12. In other words, we are saying that we recorded 12 deaths per month in relation to Covid – 19. How is this a national problem for a 30 million population?
Do we behave as we did with this situation in the same manner as we do with mortality associated with malaria, hypertension, diabetes and other common medical conditions that afflict and kill many more of our people than Covid-19 and or Sars – CoV2 could possibly ever dare do? So what at all may explain our national ‘madness’ and even till now?
Well. The doctors said it. They said that our 36 fatalities are all even necessarily NOT secondary to the virus.
That in other words, the deaths attributable to the virus itself is even less than 12 people per month.
Now, consider the obvious that the virus was in Ghana way before March 13, 2020, and you may come to the firm conclusion that deaths attributable to the virus are way less than 12 per month and totally insignificant in comparison to mortality data in Ghana.
In other words, a virus with such insignificant mortality should not be one that warranted the ‘over-the-board’ national response and hysteria that characterize the observed in Ghana.
If that realisation was lost on us while we may claim to have had inadequate information regarding the situation, that would be excusable.
What of now when we have nearly all the information necessary to become more sane, practical, efficient and less reactionary in response?
So we are better suited to walk over the virus now than we were prior. In that situation, how do we excuse more blunder and criticism that do not inform a way out of the situation so effectively over any way?
John Mahama’s latest foray into matters corona is one such.
The virus infects and incubates for some two weeks. Thereafter, SARS – CoV2 may either infect others or die off in the infected victim or kill the infected.
In Ghana, very very few people succumbed to the virus. What that means is that the virus post infecting as many of our people as it did, died off.
What that means is that for the weeks and months that we have had this virus in Ghana, it very likely already ran its course, infected the many that it possibly could, and is about getting to nadir per spread.
What that means is that testing people for the virus en mass at this time isn’t the indication or modality in any response, predicated in the situational analysis.
Is this hard for the advisors of the former President to grasp? So why won’t they tell him? What did they tell him, that he is making this mass testing demand of the sitting regime?
The time for mass testing is long gone. Sorry, Mr. former President!
If we may mass test people now, we would be wasting further resource at preventable cost. If we may test people now, it must be those caught in the response surveillance dragnet. This isnt rocket science. Or is it?
We do not need to mass test for a virus that is on its way out and already dying in our population.
And we do not need to mass test for a virus that after the fact, killed less than 12 people per month.
Otherwise, why are we not mass testing for malaria that kill more Ghanaians per month than Covid – 19 could ever do?
John Mahama could be better helped to make significant forays in national affairs and going into the future.
For some time now, his advisors have not done him much good in that regard.
Meanwhile, President ‘Nana guy guy’ seems to have had some good advisory for a while now and is sailing to another victory in 2020, and thanks to his handling of Covid-19.
Ghanaians would soon realise by July 2020 and beyond that, the President was correct in easing restrictions just as he was in reversing the lockdown.
Soon, more Ghanaians would begin to appreciate the President’s smart trade-off that mitigated the loss and cost to Ghana.
And just as in contract law, the innocent party is obligated to mitigate his or loss, this President’s smart mitigation may prove to be his greatest or masterstroke towards December 2020.
This is what John Mahama is attempting to tactically detract from, with his moot call for mass testing.
Let somebody inform him that it won’t cut, given the predictable national response, and when it becomes clear that Nana guy guy is correct after all. So that, John may require a better tactic.