Speaking during a visit to the Centre on Thursday 16th April, 2020 Vice President Bawumia emphasised that the gathering and availability of data has played a significant role in Ghana’s battle against COVID-19 so far.
Government’s reliance on data anchors Ghana’s approach to the fight, which is based on testing, tracing contacts of confirmed cases and treating them, and the work of the Covid 19 Centre is a major source of such primary data, the Vice President indicated.
“As you know, Government runs on information, and information produces data. We can then analyse the data and take decisions based on that. The setting up of this centre is very important because government needs to hear the people on the issues that concern them.
“The information being gathered here is key to Government’s decisions on the approach to dealing with the Covid 19 crisis. I am very impressed by what I’m seeing here today.
“The work that is being done here is collecting a lot of information that will allow government to be able to track, test and treat people and I think that it is a key weapon in fight against Covid 19.”
“Nobody should take Covid 19 lightly” Dr Bawumia warned. “President Akufo-Addo has put in a lot of measures to tackle the pandemic, and these measures have resulted in an outcome that is reasonable for Ghana.
“As at yesterday, out of 50719 tested, almost 99% was negative. Only about 1% positive, 641. This is because we are chasing the virus; we are not waiting like some other countries for the virus to come, for people to get sick and get to the hospitals. Ghana is doing something different. We are chasing the virus into the community, to trace, test people and treat them. Very different architecture that we are implementing in Ghana.
“If we hadn’t done this, all these people would have been going round infecting other people. I think the President’s focus on testing, tracing and treatment have yielded very good results. 1% of people tested are infected, but by the grace of God, 94 % of this 1% have only mild or no symptoms. We have only 2 people who are critically and 8 people have died, who had underlying conditions already.
“So God has been good to us, but we have to continue implementing all the guidance that we are doing right now. No large gatherings. We wash our hands. We don’t shake hands. We continue all the social distancing measures. I can see that everyone here is wearing a mask, which is very good.”
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Information, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, disclosed that the Centre has received 12,340 calls between 1st and 15th April, with enquiries largely centred on the provision of basic necessities and what to do if a case is suspected.
Vice President Bawumia also took the opportunity to respond to a call from Eno Mary, who said she lives around the Bawjiase road in Kasoa. The caller, who could not believe she was speaking to the Vice President in these trying times, was assured that her complaint of a shortage of water, would be addressed by the Ghana Water Company.
The state of the art National Information Contact Centre (NICC) which has been in operation since the start of April and manned 24/7, has been recalibrated as a COVID-19 Call Centre and staffed with personal from the Ghana Health Service and Emergency services.
By calling 311, anyone can receive information on Covid 19 and also request assistance and guidance in the fight. The Centre also collates data on the national Covid 19 effort.