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Ghana hasn't reached peak of COVID-19 infection curve yet– Health Economist

A Health Economist at the University of Ghana, Dr Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah has said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the government hastily concluded that the country has reached its peak of the recorded COVID-19 cases in the country.

Health Economist at the University of Ghana Dr Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah

At a press briefing in Accra on Tuesday, May 5, the Director of Public Health of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie said the COVID-19 curve had peaked and it was expected that the country will start seeing a decline in the number of cases depending on how well citizens abide by the prevention protocols.

He said this when Ghana had recorded at 3,091 cases.

Dr Badu Sarkodie’s announcement was after the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Ghana’s largest lab testing for coronavirus in the country said it had completed testing the backlog of about 18,000 samples, allowing them to now to test and report on samples within 24 hours.

However, just three days after the announcement, an additional 921 COVID-19 cases were recorded increasing the total number to 4,012.

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GHS had claimed that over 50% of these new cases were as a result of an outbreak in an industrial facility with 1,300 workers of which 533 confirmed positive.

However, Dr Abekah-Nkrumah, said the GHS failed to make a thorough analysis of the COVID-19 graph before arriving at that decision.

“…Once they talked about the fact that we’ve hit the peak, I was a bit surprised because for instance if you look at the new cases from the routine surveillance, you realise that prior to the new figures, if you look at it in terms of a seven-day moving average, there was a bit of a dip. So, I would imagine that people were tricked into believing that we had reached our peak. But even if you look at the seven-day moving average from the previous report, you realise that the graph is just going up and down so that should have given them an indication that maybe we’ve not reached our peak and that they needed a bit of time to make that judgement.”

“Again, if you also look at cumulative confirmed cases, and you were looking at it in terms of seven and 14-day averages, you realise that the trend is upward. And so I’m not sure whether they looked at all this before they started talking about the fact that we’ve actually gotten to our peak,” he insisted.

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