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Updated May 6, 2020

 

Accra Barber Shop
A barber shop in Accra, Ghana, is open for business after the COVID-19 lockdown was lifted.

 

Ghana has begun to ease some of the lockdown restrictions in the country’s two largest cities, Accra and Kumasi, which is a relief for the poor who faced deprivation as economic activity ground to a halt. Others worry that the process of opening up the economy is happening too soon.

 

Ghana has been a shining example of effective testing and contact tracing.

 

To date, 2,719 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported, making Ghana the sub-Saharan African country with the second-highest number of cases, after South Africa. On the other hand, Ghana has been a shining example of effective testing and contact tracing, and even has a project using drones to deliver test samples to distant labs,. The thorough testing explains the high number of cases.

Government officials have pointed to this expanded testing as proof that the lockdown had fulfilled its purpose, giving health authorities enough time to monitor the spread of infection and determine which regions are the worst affected.

 

The informal sector took a heavy hit when foot traffic dropped abruptly.

 

Convincing at first glance, this justification becomes less persuasive when considering that most signs point to Accra and Kumasi as the epicenters of the country’s outbreak. Most of Ghana’s workforce is employed in the informal sector, which took a heavy hit when foot traffic dropped abruptly once stay-at-home orders and marketplace closures were enforced. This has taken an especially heavy toll on Ghanaian women, who make up the vast majority of the informal economy’s labor force.

 

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