President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said his request to Ghanaians to look at the COVID-19 figures contextually and holistically rather than just focus on the rising number of cases, is not, in any way, to give people a false feel-good sense.
In his eleventh address to the nation on the COVID-19 situation on Sunday, 14 June 2020, President Akufo-Addo said fifty-four people have died of the virus so far.
"Fellow Ghanaians, I have to address a matter which has to do with our case count, especially in recent weeks, and which has given cause for anxiety. The increase in numbers indicates that the virus has spread and continues to spread. We have to bear in mind, at all times, that the more people we test for the virus, the more people we are likely to discover as positive, and, thus, have the opportunity to isolate and treat them. If we do not test people for the virus, we will not find the persons who are positive, let alone isolate them from the population and treat them, and prevent them from spreading the virus".
"For example, the total number of tests that we have conducted in Ghana, with a population of thirty-one million, two hundred and fifty-four thousand three hundred and thirty-one (254,331), is one of the highest on the African continent. Furthermore, many countries in the world, including several of the developed economies, are not implementing a policy of enhanced contact tracing, and this makes our data qualitatively different and more effective in the fight against COVID-19. Indeed, the success of our tracing, testing and treating will lead, in the end, to a reduction in the number of cases. That is what we are working for".
"Understandably, much focus has been placed on the rise in the total number of confirmed cases. As of the midnight of 13 June 2020, the total number of positives, cumulatively, stands at 11,964, out of the 254, 331 tests conducted”, the President updated Ghanaians.
“We have a total of 4,258 patients who are fully recovered and been discharged and are now free of the virus, the president said, adding: “So, our scrutiny, in effect, must be on the number of active cases, i.e., people who remain on our books as still positive”.
Hence, President Akufo-noted, “As things stand now, the total number of active cases is 7,652. Our positivity rate, i.e., the ratio of positive cases to the total tests conducted, stands at 4.7 per cent. We currently have 13 persons severely ill, six critically ill and three of COVID-19 persons on ventilators”.
“Mercifully for us”, the President added: “The number of COVID-19 related deaths, sad though each death is, continues to remain very low”.
“One of the lowest in Africa and the world”.
“The 54 deaths currently reported by the Ghana Health Service in Ghana, the ratio of death to positive cases stands at 0.4 per cent compared to the global average of 5.5 per cent and the African average of 2.6 per cent”, he observed.
The President said Ghanaians must learn to discuss the figures contextually rather than focus on only the rising number of cases.
“I am relating all these figures not to engender any false feel-good factor but a statement of facts that must provide the context for us when we are examining our figures. If, indeed, we are to be guided by the data, then we must look at the data in all its ramifications, not just one particular aspect of them”, he noted, insisting: “That is a proper way to do justice to the data”.
“I’m, thus, in no way suggesting that we should let our guard down and throw out of the window the efforts we’ve made in bringing us this far where we have become the reference point for many in the handling of this pandemic”.