The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, was first confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019. Four months later, the mutating virus has been confirmed in over scores of countries worldwide. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS coronavirus, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (Mumbere, 2020).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has since declared it a pandemic. With about 34 African countries currently with recorded cases, governments continue to roll out increasingly robust measures to halt the spread and to contain the pandemic which has claimed a number of lives. The sub-region within which Ghana is located is part of the areas that the coronavirus has been able to successfully infiltrate. As we speak, Togo has recorded a total of 24, Ivory Coast has recorded 96, Ghana has recorded 132 and Burkina Faso has recorded 152 (Worldometer, 2020).
It is a known fact that African countries, compared to other nations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, do not have the capacity to properly detect, monitor and control the ever-growing number of cases. Countries thought to have robust systems to tackle this pandemic are being crippled day in day out. We can observe this by following the depressing situation in Italy, Spain, and USA.
Regardless, each country within Ghana’s sub-region has put some measures in place, no matter how small. The Ivorian government announced the suspension, for a renewable period of 15 days, of all flights to and from countries with more than 100 cases of coronavirus. In addition to this, they declared that individual presenting symptoms will be quarantined along with those who have had contact with coronavirus patients in centers requisitioned by the state. Togo has closed its land borders to passengers for a period of two weeks. Furthermore, they have implemented the prohibition of visits by persons to the beach, ban on religious activities and funerals, closure of schools and suspension of a gathering of more than 15 people. The Burkinabe government has ordered the closure of its land and air borders and banning the gathering of more than 50 people. In addition, they have closed all schools and universities for the rest of the month as well as suspend its parliamentary activities until 1 April 2020. It is believed and hoped that all these measurements will help control the situation (Konan, 2020) (Aljazeera, 2020) (FR, 2020).
Indeed, efforts are being made to reduce the spread of the virus. Globally, people have been advised to stay at home and practice social distancing. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, a potential vaccine will be created.
Aljazeera. (2020, March 22). Four Burkina Faso gov’t ministers test positive for coronavirus | Burkina Faso News | Aljazeera. Retrieved from Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/burkina-faso-gov-ministers-test-positive-coronavirus-200322093958271.html
FR, F. (2020, March 21). Togo closes borders over coronavirus – FAAPA FR. Retrieved from FAAPA FR: http://www.faapa.info/blog/togo-closes-borders-over-coronavirus/
Konan, A. S. (2020, March 23). Controversies after Côte d’Ivoire imposes coronavirus measures. Retrieved from theafricareport: https://www.theafricareport.com/24968/controversies-after-cote-divoire-imposes-coronavirus-measures/
Mumbere, D. (2020, March 27th ). Coronavirus: South Africa tally hits 927, Kenya records first death | Africanews. Retrieved from Africanews: https://www.africanews.com/2020/03/26/coronavirus-hub-impact-of-outbreak-across-africa/
Worldometer. (2020, March). COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. Retrieved from Worldometer: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries