Akufo-Addo explains Ghana’s astronomical COVID -19 recovery figures
President Nana Akufo-Addo has justified the country’s astronomical recovery rate on Saturday, which set social media ablaze with conspiracy theories.
According to the Ghana Health Service data, as of Saturday, 10,473 people had recovered from the disease with the country’s active cases pegged at 3,596.
But the figures stoked heated debates on social media as a section of the public ridiculed the more than 100% increment in recovered patients.
However, the President in his 12th COVID-19 update said a World Health Organisation revised policy on declaring infected persons positive informed the decision.
Insisting that the government’s approach to dealing with the disease would be driven by science, he said, “At the outset of the pandemic, the scientific community and the World Health Organisation (WHO), on January 12, 2020, recommended two main criteria for declaring someone who has tested positive as having recovered from the disease.”
WHO revised policy
“ The first is that you no longer have symptoms, and the second is that you are no longer capable of infecting others. Initially, the scientific thinking was that, as long you continue to test positive, you are capable of infecting others. Hence, the requirement for the two consecutive, negative tests before you are declared as having recovered.
“This was the science that informed the guidelines that Ghana has, so far, followed. However, there is now new evidence which states that, after ten (10) to fourteen (14) days, a person, with no symptoms, is unlikely to transmit the virus to others, even if the person continues to test positive.
“It is on this basis that WHO has updated its guidelines, as published per its Clinical Management of COVID-19 Interim Guidance, of 27th May, 2020, “as part of the clinical care pathway of a COVID-19 patient”’
According to the WHO, asymptomatic patients, that is, those who have tested positive for the virus, but are not exhibiting any symptoms after 14 days, “are not likely to be infectious, and, therefore, are unlikely to be able to transmit the virus to another person”.
In that regard, the President said after three weeks of analysing and studying the update and recommendation, and situating it in the Ghanaian context, Ghana had adopted the WHO policy.
Other countries following a similar path are countries in the European Union, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and in Dubai.