The Way the Rabbits Jump – Akufo-Addo’s Covid-19 update – What he did not say

Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo/Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP

Bernie Sanders: „Sometimes, when you hear a speech, what is NOT said is more important than what is said.“

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What Akufo-Addo did not say in his 22nd Covid-19 update on 17 January 2021, is the R-value and how high it is at the time he delivered his Covid-19 update to the nation.

The reproduction number, or R-value is a tool for estimating the infection rate. If the R-value is above 1, it means an infected person infects more than one person on average. If the value is below 1, the number of new infections is reduced. 1″ is the critical threshold value – if this is exceeded, a person infects more than one other person on average. The value also allows estimates of the point at which a nation’s healthcare system would be overloaded.

The R-value represents the infection that occurred about one and a half weeks ago.

How often do the Government health authorities in Ghana report the actual or current R-value to the nation?

Akufo-Addo also did not mention the seven-day incidence rate. He also did not tell Ghanaians the number of new infections in a week per 100,000 inhabitants in the country. What is the seven-day incidence in Ghana? Is it 131.5 for example or higher?

His assertion that “an upsurge in the number of active cases, from a little over nine hundred (900) to one thousand, nine hundred and twenty-four (1,924),” is vague. Are these figures per what? One-hundred thousand, 150,000 or what?

Akufo-Addo also stressed that: “Particularly worrying is the fact that the Ghana Health Service is recording, on the average, two hundred (200) new cases of COVID infections daily.” Okay, daily from what number?

Akufo-Addo’s announcement in his latest update that 200 new cases of Covid-19 is happening in Ghana daily is critical. Does that mean the reproduction number is climbing up and is this an indication that Corona virus is spreading rapidly in Ghana?

If the reproduction number is less than one, the epidemic subsides.

If the reproduction number is above one, the number of infected people grows exponentially – and the healthcare system could reach its limits.

Medical experts agree that the seven-day incidence is a key benchmark for imposing and easing measures against the spread of the novel virus.

So, in effect what is the level of the seven-day incidence in Ghana before Akufo-Addo decided to open schools in the country? And more importantly, what is the Akufo-Addo government’s goal to push the incidence down assuming it is high?

What percentage level does the government want to push the incidence? Is the government planning to push the incidence to below 100, below 80 or below 50? Akufo-Addo did not mention this in his 22nd Covid-19 address to the nation.

These are critical issues among others that should guide the Akufo-Addo government in its efforts at confronting the Covid-19 pandemic.

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