Tʜᴇ ʜɪᴅᴅᴇɴ ᴄᴀsᴇsᴇs ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴄᴏᴠɪᴅ-19 ɪɴ ɢʜᴀɴᴀ

In Coronavirus/COVID-19 reporting, I have mainly been interested in the number of positive cases per tests and the number of deaths; I have ...


In Coronavirus/COVID-19 reporting, I have mainly been interested in the number of positive cases per tests and the number of deaths; I have not usually been bothered about the "recovery" numbers. 

There is a lot about the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that we still don't know, but a few things are becoming clearer from the WHO, and that is what guides some of us in understanding and interrogating the numbers. It seems to be clear:

1. The incubation period for COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus (becoming infected) and symptom onset, is 1 - 14 days (some research report an average of 5 days). Thus if one is infected with Sars-coV-2, COVID-19 symptoms should appear within 14 days.

2. The recovery period for  COVID-19 is about two weeks for those with mild conditions and up to about 3 weeks for those with more severe symptoms. We saw the timelines for those who publicly announced their COVID-19 illness,  like Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Prince Charles. 

That seems to indicate clearly that if you get infected with COVID-19, then by the third week (give and take) you should either be 6 feet deep or recovered. Thus, most of those who got infected on or before 31st May 2020 when the president was easing the restrictions should be dead by now or recovered.

It would thus not make much statistical sense for the total number of 'active cases' today to be far greater than the total number of new cases reported within the last 21 days. In Ghana's case, our total number of recoveries to date should be a number close to where our total infections stood 14 - 21 days ago, minus the total number of deaths. That should be around 10,000.

What we need to find out from the Ghana Health Service is what does the number of "recoveries" reported refer to? Does it refer to the number of patients who no longer have the symptoms or no longer appear sick, the number of patients who no longer have the virus in them, or the number of people who are no longer capable of transmitting the virus? Those are the questions I think the media should be asking. To sit in your studios or social media and declare that you BELIEVE in the "recovery" numbers or you DON'T  BELIEVE in them because they appear too high or too low does not educate anybody.

The discourse must continue to be backed by science, and science is not based on what you  BELIEVE or DON'T BELIEVE. Science is based on empirical FACTS.

byDr. Richard Tia Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.)

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