COVID-19 PANDEMIC: _GHANA’S SOON COMING DOOMSDAY!
So, after all the drama and theatrical arts that I found myself in over the weekend in my attempt to speak to a resource person on the emergency access numbers provided for the CONORA virus pandemic, I finally decided to do the needful by visiting the hospital. After all the calls and what have you with a personnel on Monday morning 23rd March 2020, it became necessary for me to go to the centre designated for suspected Covid-19 cases or symptoms. *_”The earlier, the better…”_* he said.
Unaware of what the outcome of my visit to the centre would be, I decided to take few essentials with me, just in case I find myself being quarantined. So, with a small “Ghana Must Go Bag,” I pack my few essentials and got ready to embark on a journey to the unknown. Luckily, I’ve been alone all week, and have had no contact with family or friends at all.
As further precautionary measures being taking by myself NOT to have contact with others until I’ve been cleared of my suspicions, I hired a taxi to drive me from home to Ridge Hospital at the cost of GHS 70, even though I could have gone on the trotros for under GHS 10, but for the sake of humanity I chose to part with a scarce resource. I told the taxi driver about my symptoms and suspicions, so there would be no contact between us, and I had my face mask on.
I arrived at the Ridge Hospital just before mid-day. As I arrived at the Covid-19 Centre, three (3) foreigners, probably Lebanese, were ahead of me. I sat down comfortably waiting for my turn. I was called to the table and taken through the questionnaires. At the end of it all, I came to the sad reality of the time bomb that awaits us in this critical moment.
The two main criteria or Benchmarks for determining whether a person is probably infected, and hence a candidate for Covid-19 Testing are:
1. Have you travelled outside the country?
2. Have you had contact with a known person who has tested positive?
So, if your answers are NO, then you’re cleared off Covid-19. And so like the many others before me, including the three foreigners (Lebanese), and the many others to come after me have been and would be cleared off Covid-19 until further notice, regardless of whatever symptoms you have had or been experiencing, as a result of which you probably undertook a pilgrimage like I did to visit the Covid-19 Centre at Ridge Hospital at a whopping GHS 70.
So I was told to go to the OPD for further investigations of my symptoms, and possibly some prescriptions; and that if after another week or two, my symptoms still persist, then I could come back to the Centre. As I was walking from the Covid-19 Centre to the OPD, many questions kept flying through my mind:
1. Now that we probably have hundreds or even thousands in Ghana who are infected, but going about their everyday life as normal, and mingling with others just as normal, just like the University of Ghana Student who had infected hundreds of her fellow students and family and friends before even becoming aware that she had the virus; and the Norwegian Ambassador who had infected several Government Officials including the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and the First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akuffo Addo, and several other Embassy Officials and several other Ghanaians who were at the party at his (Ambassador’s) residence, and again with several others he came into contact with and shook hands with at the Independence Celebrations at Kumasi, should we still be using “Travel Outside The Country” as a yardstick to access a person’s probability of being infected or having the virus?
2. And for question two, how on Earth would I be able to tell if I have had contact with someone who had tested positive? Well, for now, I guess all those who tested positive are in quarantine. But as we all know now, there are hundreds infected and having the virus in Ghana, but have not been tested, and so are going about their daily activities freely and infecting others. So in effect, these two key questions that are being used as the main criteria for deciding on persons who potentially have the virus, these two keys questions have become outdated in our Ghanaian context and can no longer serve their purpose.
The questions running through my mind are many, but I think I would leave the rest for readers to have their own. So I went to the OPD. After I got my ID card and waiting to see the nurse, two of the foreigners (Lebanese) also came to the OPD, to follow the same procedure.
Rather unfortunately, the wait to see the Dr at Consulting Room 4 brought back memories of my bad experience at the 37 Military Hospital in 2003, and why I decided never to go to the 37 Military Hospital again. After waiting for over an hour to see the doctor, I was given some prescriptions to buy and a request for a lab test. By the time I was done with my lab test, I had exhausted all my money, and so couldn’t buy the prescriptions.
And this is the final bitter truth and the reality of our soon coming doomsday! For my return journey home, I had to board the trotro and then change for another. Assuming that I have the virus (God forbid though), and I went to ridge hoping that I would know my status by the time I’m out of Ridge, but only to be disappointed and giving clean sheet! If it’s the case that I have the virus, now I’m out there to infect as many people as would come into contact with me, beginning with passengers on the trotros that I used on my return journey home.
However, if I do not have the virus (which I earnestly hope and pray for), then I’m now at risk because of the journey I embarked on today, beginning with those I came into contact with on my return journey home… So the question is:
*_DO WE NEED A LOCKDOWN NOW TO CURTAIL THE MENACE SINCE WE ARE NOT ABLE TO EVEN TEST PEOPLE WITH REPORTED SYMPTOMS? UK IS UNDER LOCKDOWN as WHO warns global spread is accelerating…_*
As I was writing this piece in the dead of the night, I had a chat with the gentleman who gave me two (2) numbers for the emergency access contacts. I told him I went to Ridge Hospital, and he sent me this:
*_”Oh ok, I am thinking of going there God willing on Wednesday for voluntary testing”_*
I couldn’t STOP laughing…😂😂😂🤦🏽♂
Maxwell MAUNDY, author of cutting edge Pan African Book DARKEST HUMANITY…
Please follow me on Twitter: @maxmaundy