Fellow Ghanaians, Ghana cannot afford to throw the baby out with the bathwater in her fight against the Covid 19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, our fight against the spread of the disease is nearer to a Cos90 job than a stellar one, if measures are not put in place to ensure the rearrest of the disease is possible in case the virus gets reactivated. This should not sound strange to anyone. The virus is stranger than this.
According to John Hopkins University, 390,000 patients of the Covid 19 disease, have been recovered worldwide.
However, that good and refreshing to hear news was shortly "contaminated" and turned sour, when another unfortunate but fortunate to have surfaced earlier news, said ninety-nine (91) patients who were cured and tested negative after recovering have been, again, tested positive.
Ghana is among the many other countries in the world whose infected citizens are recuperating from the godforsaken plague. The country’s town crier, Hon. Kojo Opong Nkrumah has announced on behalf of government, the miraculous recovery of eighty three (83) as of today 16th April. Alhamudulillah.
While majority of Ghanaians believe the government is simply playing the devil’s advocate in this trying times by negotiating and massaging the facts in an attempt to psychologically comfort us about the ravaging effects of the virus in the country, it is of crucial importance for government not to allow recuperated individuals to go home in such a jiffy if some patients have really recovered. They should still be around under the watch of the Covid 19 team. Some of them could even be allowed to interact with Ghanaians, share their experience, and to paint a picture of what it means to be a Covid 19 victim in order to discourage Ghanaians from perambulating and gallivanting in the streets.
This is because, majority of Ghanaians don’t trust the government’s vehement claims of people recovering from the pandemic in the first place.
Fast forward. A reliable information coming from South Korea, according to the Business Insider, says over 91 recovered patients of this “humanity batterer” (Covid 19), have been reinfected and tested positive again in that country using PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
Bloomberg, too, reported earlier that the director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one Mr. Jeong Eun-kyeong, briefed the media to the effect that the virus may have been reactivated and not reinfected amongst those already cured South Koreans. And officials of that country have since tasked their medical experts to conduct an epidemiological investigations into the matter to establish what has brought about that new trend.
Apart from South Korea, I have not personally read or heard about the reinfection or reactivation of the disease in any other country among recovered persons. Although according to the spokesperson of World Health Organization, WHO, reported by Reuters, "We are aware of these reports of individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19 using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing and then after some days testing positive again,"
So far, it is in South Korea such ugly news and occurrence has occurred. However, the mourning of the dead is a warning to the living.
Ghana must not stand hands akimbo and watch until we are taken by surprise if, may God forbid, such an occurrence of recuperated Covid 19 patients are reinfected or have the virus reactivated in Ghana and other parts of the world as said by the Director of health affairs in South Korea.
The conventional wisdom that, "if your neighbor's beard is on fire, you have to wet your own beard before running to his aid" is what Ghana must apply now.
When the disease first broke out in Wuhan, Ghana didn't run to its aid in China and she never also "wet her own beard." We stood nonchalantly till our citizens abroad repatriated home the virus before we saw the need to close down borders.
Government must not repeat this peculiar African mistake again in respect of recovered persons getting reinfected and, consequently and subsequently infesting their loved ones and the rest of Ghanaians.
Though the Ghana Medical Association, (GMA) together with government have been working tooth and nail to ensure the arrest, containment, alleviation and eventual eradication of the virus, it will be imperative if Covid 19 Recovery Center (CRC) is put up in order to house persons who have been examined to been recovered. This will help prevent possible reinfection or reactivation of the disease and prevention of its “clandestine” spread thereof in the Ghanaian community, should those recovered later start to experience symptoms again as it is the case in South Korea.
With such a Center or facility, we can assure ourselves of a situation where cured Covid 19 patients do not spread the disease upon going back home unbeknownst to themselves, government, GMA, and Ghanaians in general.
In spite of the rudest shock of the WHO about the new developments of persons who have been cured of the disease being tested positive again, they have accordingly tasked their clinical experts to launch an investigation into the phenomenon in South Korea according to the Business Insider.
As a country that reacted to fighting the pandemic, it would be imperative to step up our game. Our elders say if the birds learn to fly without perching, the hunters must learn to counter and shoot without missing. Let's make provision for Recovered Persons Center (RPC) before we become victims of this new development.
It doesn't take rocket science to do it. Whoever is recovered must not go back home yet. After all, we are still under the “knockdown” period. Government must continue to accommodate them.
Before I forget, please, government must understand this is not the time to grow thorns on its skin, and remain stiff on brilliant ideas suggested by political opponents and "children" because of its reluctance to share leadership and political glory with others.
Wisdom certainly is like fire, as we say in our African street parlance: people take it from others.
A word to the wise is enough, but the stubborn sails in a Clay boat.
Let’s liberate ourselves from our sorry state of affairs of psychological slavery and underdevelopment, and embrace a shift in thinking by retooling our mindsets as a people.
This is the time to drop our political egos. This is not the time to seek eclipsing of political opponents by all means.
Our politicians must be responsible and do not use this delicate period to increase their bank balances.
It is a period all citizens are expected to share wisdom, ideas, and console, condole, and comfort one another. And our leadership must subsidize their comfort and reduce their sleep to help heal the land.
Lib service has never helped achieve anything, unless in the game of philandering.
Stop the flowery language now.
Abdul Hakeem Iddrisu
(The Young Prof.)
The Young, By The Permission of Their Maker, Shall Grow.