Needed Socio-economic Reforms Must Be Initiated Now – CDD

The Center for Democratic Development (CDD) said the COVID-19 situation will have a significant impact on the world, even in countries like Ghana that have seen a few reported cases as compared to some countries in the West and Asia.

It said, COVID-19 is affecting 61.3% of the 194 World Health Organisation (WHO) member states and that the current COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call on countries including Ghana to initiate the needed socio-economic reforms.

CDD-Ghana said this in a statement.

It said: “So far, the following are known: The short-, medium- and long-term economic costs have not been fully elucidated. However, the loses on the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE?100) Index alone in the week ending 28th of February 2020 of £200 Billion surpassed the total global losses of SARS (£38.6 Billion), MERS (£6.6 Billion) and Ebola (£1.70 Billion) put together. This total is also surpassed by the potential losses to the airline industry of £100 Billion as indicated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).”

“Well-resourced health systems like the Chinese (GHSI  48.2),  Italian (GHSI  56.2)  and  South Korean (GHSI 70.2) have had significant challenges fighting off the virus once it had taken hold.”

The  Global  Health  Security  (GHS)  Index is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across the 195  countries that up the states parties to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).  It measures countries preparedness towards dealing with an epidemic. Ghana’s GHSI is 35.5.

Though the current mortality rate is  3.6%,  the disease has been shown to cause significant morbidity in patients above the age of 60 and those with underlying chronic health conditions like hypertension, diabetes and asthma. For those over the age of 70, 21.9% (2 in 10) of confirmed cases lose their lives.

The statement also said: “Personal hygiene, proper handwashing, the regular use of sanitisers and the avoidance of crowded spaces are effective means of minimising the risk of infection and person to person transmission,” and that major multinationals have had to significantly alter their work patterns to minimise the spread of the disease and large cities and countries have been put in lockdown mode.

-Prosper Agbenyega

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