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KCCR virologist explains why GMA calls for lockdown is not ideal

By Mutala Yakubu

A virologist with the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), Dr Michael Owusu has disagreed with the Ghana Medical Association's calls for a lockdown of the entire nation.

The GMA in a statement released yesterday showed concerns about the spread of Covid-19 and asked the government to immediately consider a lockdown of the entire nation.

This generated a lot of debate as there seems to be a divided opinion on the issue.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: GMA calls on Akufo-Addo to declare nationwide lockdown

But Dr Owusu says the approach of a lockdown is wrong.

"If you close the country down and you don't have variables to measure the success of the closedown, then you can't predict when to close down and how long to close down and what will be the end result of this. For me, the first is that you must know the exact burden of the disease at the community level. It is the community cases that sparks outbreak. So once you understand the burden of the case, you can lock it down and whilst lockdown is ongoing you still do mass testing, then the cases you record after the test will tell you the success of the lockdown".

Ghana has so far recorded 68 cases of Covid-19 with 3 deaths so far. This has forced the Ghana Medical Association to call on the government to lock down the country as a matter of urgency.

They believe that locking down the country is the best way to stop the spread of the virus.