According to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the world extra efforts put into testing and contact tracing of those found positive of COVID-19 saved Ghana from a time bomb.
About 110,000 people have been tested so far in Ghana as the West African country confirms 1,671 cases of of COVID-19 with 16 deaths.
At a conference via video from the capital, Accra, Akufo-Addo said “We are not seeing this relatively large explosion that was feared for our country at the beginning, and therefore the ability to manage those who are identified is much more within our means.”
President Akufo-Addo stressed: “The emphasis has been to go out and look for those who are infected and deal with it.”
Last week Ghana was the first country in Africa to lift a partial 21-day lockdown on two main cities, Accra and Kumasi.
“After three weeks, we were satisfied that we had a good understanding of the movement of the virus and removed the restrictions, but continued with the strategy of tracing, testing and treating,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“We are in a better position to identify its geographic footprint,” he said. “It has enabled us to see what we needed to do to prevent it from going elsewhere.”
According to Reuters, Cocoa- and gold-producing Ghana has cut its 2020 GDP growth forecast from 6.8% to 1.5% due to the coronavirus pandemic, a rate that would represent its worst performance in nearly four decades.
Restrictions on public gatherings and border closures remain in place for now, Akufo-Addo said.
“We are investing a lot … in seeing to it that people wear the masks. We see it as a direct and manageable way of getting as many people as possible protected from the disease. It is an easier solution than the strict enforcement of social distancing.”