I read the news report in which Mr. Sydney Casely-Hayford, the well-known financial analyst and sociopolitical commentator, was quoted to be saying that he would be elated if shortly upon his return from his official working tour of Europe, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo voluntarily quarantined himself for at least 21 days because of apparent outbreak of the Chinese-originated deadly coronavirus epidemic in several European countries, so as to drastically reduce the possibility or potentiality of the disease breaking out and spreading with lightning speed across the country, that is, in case the President happened to have, by chance, picked up the virus while flying, driving or trudging across this medically confirmed coronavirus-infected region of the world (See “Coronavirus: Akufo-Addo Should Quarantine Himself When He Returns – Casely-Hayford” News Desk – Modernghana.com 2/29/20).
In all likelihood, my good friend issued his quite constructive advice before the good news hit the global media headlines that it well appears that an antidote, in the form of the common anti-malarial medication called Chloroquine has been discovered by some French and Chinese doctors.
If, indeed, this medicinal discovery of Chloroquine has been tested and found to be an effective cure for the coronavirus disease, then Ghana’s Ministry of Health may be in a very good position to protect the country’s citizens and residents against the ravages of the most deadly latest global epidemic that appears to be fast exploding into a pandemic, especially now that we have also learned that the coronavirus has just made a headway into Nigeria, Ghana’s eastern neighbor and West Africa’s most populous country and largest economy. But that, of course, is assuming that Ghana’s Ministry of Health or Medical Services System has an adequate supply of Chloroquine in storage and ready to be used, if the occasion so demands.
In addition to Mr. Casely-Hayford, we also learn that Mr. Ras Mubarak, the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, in the Northern Region, has also advised that upon his arrival from Europe, Nana Akufo-Addo may do himself and the rest of the Ghanaian citizenry great good by voluntarily subjecting himself to the mandatory 14 days of sequestration required of all travelers arriving in the country from confirmed coronavirus-infested zones around the globe.
Well, from what we know so far, according to the French and Chinese doctors who firmly believe that the most effective cure for the coronavirus is Chloroquine, an 8-day once-a-day dosage of this medication, largely in the form of tablets or caplets, is all that a coronavirus-infected patient needs to get rid of the disease. Which, in short, means that President Akufo-Addo may only need to quarantine himself, if he so chooses upon his return from his European tour, for only approximately 10 days or just a little over one week.
The good news in the Nigerian case is that the coronavirus-infected patient, who is reported to have illegally attempted to vacate the facility in which he was under quarantine, is an Italian construction worker and a contractor who was working in Nigeria earlier on and decided to go to Italy for a visit or vacation. The recent unilateral decision by the Nigerian authorities to close all the borders of that country, ought to equally incentivize the Ghanaian authorities to put in place stringent protective measures by way of national security safeguards.
The tragic irony here, though, is that it well appears that Africans and the hitherto epidemiologically haughty and self-righteous leaders and authorities of the industrially advanced countries, especially the erstwhile Western European Colonial Powers, are beginning to witness at least an equalizing situation, whereby travelers from these European countries intent on taking trips to the hitherto “septic tank” nations that were Africa and the rest of the Third World being strictly required to certify that they have obtained, beforehand, expensively priced anti-coronavirus immunization shots before being permitted entry. “Sweet Revenge!” I say.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York