Are We Prepared To Combat The Scourge Of Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) held a press conference on January 30, to pronounce the novel coronavirus, a global emergency.

Coronavirus is quite complicated. According to WHO, coronavirus belong to a family of organisms that bring about illnesses from common cold to very severe diseases. Such examples are Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The viruses are reported as initially transmitted between animals and people. Its name has roots in the Latin word ‘corona’ which means crown or halo because of the image seen under a microscope said to look like a solar corona.

By February 3, the Health Commission of China, has announced 17,205 was the total number of confirmed coronavirus infection cases, while 21,558 was the number of suspected cases of people infected by the virus in mainland China. And while a total number of 361 people have died of the virus, 475 people have been discharged from hospital after recovery – the recovery being a good sign that this is a battle well on the way to being won.

There was pandemonium last week at the country’s premier hospital, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, when doctors had to flee over two suspected cases of coronavirus.

The head of Public Health Department at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Philip Amoo, revealed that a lack of a well-resourced holding bay at the hospital, was the cause of the uproar last week Wednesday.

If doctors, who are trained to face situations like this are taking to their heels, it means, as a country, we are not adequately prepared to handle a situation like this.

Since the outbreak, it is reported that, Chins has built a 1000 bed makeshift hospital in nine days to prevent its spread and to treat victims, while keeping WHO and other countries, including Ghana, abreast of current situation.

We as a newspaper would like to stand in solidarity with the Chinese government, while we implore our government to enforce stricter laws at our airports to identify and treat victims.

Ghana,  should also dedicate funds to finding a cure and not wait for other countries to share knowledge. In the meantime, the government should warn against panic and stigma.

The Ghanaian government should learn from China and dedicate funds and increase the tempo to combat the scourge, should it rear its ugly head in the country.


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