Home Ghana News Coronavirus scepticism: Bright Simmons decries lack of attention to research

Coronavirus scepticism: Bright Simmons decries lack of attention to research

The scepticism and conspiracies surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic have led Bright Simmons, a global thought leader, to decry the lack of faith and attention to research in Ghana.

One of the points of contention has been the predictions of viruses like the novel coronavirus by works of fiction or individuals like Bill Gates.

Bill Gates, in a 2015 TED Talk, warned of a potential epidemic and advocated for better preparedness in the wake of the 2014 Ebola epidemic.

But some of these world-changing developments would not spark disbelief if more people paid attention to research, Mr. Simmons noted on The Point of View.

“The real issue will not necessarily be that it is surprising or whatever. It will be because people ignore researchers. Policymakers themselves don’t even read this stuff. And the ordinary Ghanaian no longer reads literature except literature for entertainment.”

Mr. Simmons cited studies on pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia with possible Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Though MERS-CoV has not been detected in Ghana he intimated that it will catch the country by surprise even though researchers had raised red flags.

Mr. Simmons also noted the colony of bats at 37 which are known to have some viruses dangerous to humans which would allow for predictions of an epidemic that could be accurate.

“It is not that difficult for somebody looking at that situation to create a model that will tell you how that infection will happen and how it will spread.”

Also in an attempt to demystify projections of epidemics, Dr. John Amuasi, a Global Health and Infection Diseases Researcher noted that his work years ago with Internation Severe Respiratory Illness Consortium led to the preparation of protocols for a potential severe respiratory illnesses like the current coronavirus.

“It was very clear to all of us scientists that the next pandemic most likely would be a severe acute respiratory illness which will cause pneumonia and will spread really quickly.”

“We were actually surprised it came upon quicker than we had anticipated. So this protocol was there. We just repurposed it for COVID-19,” he said.


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