Corona Virus – COVID -19

The World Health Organisation WHO indicates that human coronaviruses are caused by droplets through coughing and having close unprotected contact with an infected person by touching and shaking hands. If these are anything to go by then health systems especially in Africa need not be attacked much as most of the affected COVID -19 countries have very good health systems.
We are in times of survival of the fittest by observing simple precautionary measures such as washing of hands with soap regulary under running water using hand sanitisers, practising common cough and sneezing etiquette by covering the mouth with handkerchief or tissue, use of protective clothing or masks and where possible stay away from crowded areas and avoid touching one’s face with unwashed hands.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever and cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Ghana is among 13 top priority countries in Africa which have high volumes of flights and travel to China. To this end there is the need to step up preparadess toward any eventuality. This is because countries around the world with good health systems are battling to prevent the virus from spreading further and killing people.
Luckily Ghana has a testing centre at Noguchi, that is why the more than 30 suspected cases were quickly tested and had the swift results which were all negative.
The world health body says Ghana needs 35 million cedis to combat the disease but so far government has allocated two point five million cedis as an initial budget according to the Special Advisor on Health issues at the Presidency.
This is a wake up call for every individual to secure their health by being health conscious and alert whiles praying that the disease does not rear its ugly head in the country.
After all the Bible tells us to watch and pray, so we need to be observant as we seek divine intervention. Sensitization by the health ministry is fine but the onus lies on every individual to protect themselves. Prevention is always better than cure.
Vice President Bawumia last week hit the nail right on the head when he re-echoed an akan adage that when you see your neighbours beard burning you should fetch water beside yours.
It is heartwarming that the highest political concern is being exhibited with the President visiting the Airport and designated hospitals and centers to assess the country’s preparedness agaisnt any case. Parliament has also within the spate of one month invited the health minister to brief the House on the country’s preparedness. It is important at this point to be wary of myths.
Can alarmists on social media give the nation a break as well as those making false claims of cure? Some years ago a very popular herbalist claimed to have a cure for HIV and AIDS when it first emerged.Both locals and foreigners flocked his centre for cure. He was invited elsewhere to prove this cure for the disease but couldn’t prove it and died without showing the formula.
As the world has no answers yet for Covid-19 and it continues to spread, it is important to avoid undue exposure and postpone not very essential travels both within and outside. Some companies have fixed sanitisers infront of their offices and is compulsory for visitors to use them before entering. Can institutions which have not as yet done this follow suit.
Can Churches and Mosques be proactive by providing sanitisers for worshippers including children who attend Sunday school and again sensitise members to the issues of corona virus. Spread of the virus in South Korea was linked to a church which authorities say members infected each other during services and spread it around the country apparently unprotected. Can we also minimize our attendance at funerals.
Some people are dedicated funeral attendees and hop from one funeral to the other . Parents and care givers should also talk about it to their children. Can COVID -19 education be sent to the lorry stations and markets as well.I believe social media is leading in the education on the disease. What about those not on social media ? Let us all work together to push Covid-19 and other unwarranted diseases from our midst.
BY THERSA OWUSU-AKO, A JOURNALIST

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