From the regional distribution of Covid-19 data, more than 87% of Ghana’s case load is concentrated in Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.

Here’s why:

  • To better understand the disparity in the distribution of cases among the 16 regions, we run a number of correlations to see which factors have the strongest bearing on a region’s case load.

  • We looked at 3 people related factors: absolute population, population density and the urbanisation rate for each region.

  • Of the 3 factors, we found population density to have the strongest correlation with the regional case load, registering a coefficient of 0.98.

  • For context, a coefficient of 1 indicated perfect correlation while a value of -1 indicates an invest relationship.

  • What this translates to is that the more densely populated a region is, the more likely it is to have a big case load.

  • As a case in point, Greater Accra has a population density of 1,523 people per square kilometre, more than 6 times the density of the Ashanti Region.

  • Consequently, the top three regions for population density (Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central) are also the top 3 regions for Covid-19 case loads as of May 23rd, 2020.

  • This pattern fits well with what has been observed globally as the virus spreads in any given country. Ultimately it comes down to mitigation and suppression efforts to keep the case load down, especially in very dense cities and regions.

  • In part 2 of this series, we look at the link between urbanisation and the viral case load in a region.
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