Decision to lift lockdown makes me nervous – Dr. Bertha Serwaa Ayi

A U.S.-based Ghanaian Specialist in infectious diseases has said while it is early to make a definitive judgement on the President’s decision to end a restriction on movement in parts of the country over the coronavirus pandemic, it makes her anxious.

Dr. Bertha Serwaa Ayi, who is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Nebraska Medical Centre, said on Joy News’ PM Express that having studied the potential for exponential infections in other parts of the world, the lifting of the lockdown in Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and Kasoa may be dangerous.

“I wouldn’t say [decision to lift the lockdown] is good or bad but I will just say I felt nervous based on what I know about the trajectory of this disease,” she told host of the current affairs programme Evans Mensah.

She said in just seven weeks, in China, Europe and the United States, the rate of infection of the disease spiked exponentially, noting that health experts agree that had these countries taken immediate steps to hold the spread early, the mortality figures would have decreased.

“My point is you can’t say that you are going by science and look at a caseload of 1,042 and say that because of that you are going to reduce or remove a very, very good measure which you put in place.

“If Europe had decided on the right measures on the 4th of March, they wouldn’t be where they are,” she said.

Dr Ayi’s sentiments resonates with that of a Global Health Expert, Dr John Amuasi, who has predicted an increase in Ghana’s coronavirus cases following government’s decision to lift the three-week lockdown.

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the lifting of the lockdown directive in a televised address, explaining that it has achieved its objectives, among which was the need to scale up tracing and testing people who may have come into contact with those who had already tested positive.

“You have to look at the trends of the exponential growth of this disease,” Dr Ayi advised on the PM Express show.

She capped the reason for her anxiety over the decision to lift the lockdown with the following analogy:

“It’s sort of like being told that there is a hurricane coming. You can decide that ‘well I don’t feel any rushing wind…why should I prepare?’ Meanwhile, you have been told that the hurricane has been through Florida, Europe, America and it’s coming to Africa and you say because I don’t feel the wind and I have looked at the signs and the wind direction it’s not coming my way and so I am going to relax.”