- Pharmacist, Kwame Sarpong Asiedu says Ghana's increasing COVID-19 cases gives cause for concern
- In an interview with YEN, Dr. Sarpong Asiedu said the country has seen more cases after the lockdown was lifted
- Ghana's COVID-19 positive cases now stand at 2,719
- Our Manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in
A UK-based Ghanaian pharmacist, Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, has expressed worry about the rapid increase in the number of Ghana's COVID-19 positive cases, stressing that Ghana is losing the battle against COVID-19.
In an exclusive interview with YEN.com.gh via Zoom's video conferencing platform, Sarpong Asiedu said that while he understood the difficult decision President Nana Akufo-Addo faced in lifting the lockdown, the move had undermined Ghana's ability to effectively fight COVID-19.
In lifting the restrictions, Sarpong Asiedu, who is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, said the president had been caught between "a rock and a hard place".
According to him, the daily rush for food and brazen defiance of social distancing directives during the lockdown had posed a threat to national security. He suggested, however, that lifting the lockdown was a mistake because the number of cases was increasing sharply even while the lockdown was in place.
He opined that Ghana has recorded even more cases of the novel coronavirus after the restriction on movement was eased.
As a result, he said he could not predict when Ghana would flatten our curve, adding that it would not be anytime soon.
Sarpong Asiedu's comments came as Ghana's positive coronavirus cases rose dramatically to 2,719.
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The pharmacist said Ghana was experiencing “exponential community spread”.
He further noted that Ghana’s COVID-19 case count could not be attributed to a backlog in testing alone as state officials have suggested.
He rejected the assertion that Ghana was recording more cases because the country was testing more.
“I say so because we are told the percentage of positive tests as a ratio of total tests is 1.5%. Therefore to have gotten to over 2000 confirmed cases, we should have performed approximately 138,667 tests in total.”
Sarpong Asiedu added that if the case count for Ghana continues to go up unchecked, there will chaos in our health system, saying, "...there is a likelihood that our health system will be stretched to the point where the quality of care to infected persons will begin to decline and may eventually take a nosedive.”
He further revealed to YEN.com.gh that the country’s mortality had increased from 11 to 18 (a 54.5% rise).
“Though it can be argued that many of the deceased had underlying conditions, is it also not true that without community spread they would not have been infected in the first place?”
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The lecturer opined that Ghana must get to a place where more tests would result in fewer positive tests.
He said Ghanaians must minimise movement drastically whether or not the government “re-introduces restrictions”.
“This is about us all so please wash your hands, stay at home, or wear a mask if you are out. Finally, avoid crowds and keep a safe distance,” he stated.
Sarpong Asiedu went on to condemn some government communicators who he said were attacking independent Ghanaians that were lending their expertise to the national COVID-19 effort.
He said, for asking what some government communicators deemed to be uncomfortable questions, he had been subjected to social media abuse, a development he said was detrimental to the COVID-19 fight.
"Because we are learning, we should be open to debate, open to suggestions and open to criticism because even the experts that are advising the president are none so wiser [about this disease].
"We don’t understand the virus after dealing with it for seven weeks," he said.
The accomplished intellectual said even the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not have all the answers regarding COVID-19, despite working on it for six months.
Kwame Sarpong Asiedu is a pharmacist by training, with 19 years of practice. He has also lectured in Ghana and the UK.
He previously held various senior leadership roles at Alliance Boots, now Walgreens Boots Alliance, rising to the position of Head of Pharmacy Operations for East Anglia. He is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, Institute of Pharmacy Management International, and The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana.
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