98.1 Overall Score (up 23.3 since Aug 1st.)


  • 94.2 Public Health
  • 86.2 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 94.2 Public Health
  • 86.2 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Ghana scores strongly on the Index, due primarily to its proactive public health policy, strong examples set by leadership, and reliance on facts; while consistently strong, it does have very weak testing, limited emergency healthcare spending, and a weak stimulus.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Ghana’s poor population health, weak healthcare system, low number of hospital beds, and low GDP per capita resulted in it being in a relatively vulnerable position pre-pandemic.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 59.3%
  • GDP/capita $7,343
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 43.5
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 35
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 49.7
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 5.8

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)

Public Health Directives

Ghana's strong testing policy, contract tracing, and restrictions of public gatherings garnered it a very strong public health score.

  • Stay at home order 0
  • Public gathering restrictions 3
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 1
  • Testing policy 3
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $3.22
  • Travel restrictions 1
  • Tests/1,000 people 21.6
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Despite a relatively low case rate, Ghana still provided stimulus funding to address COVID-19.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 2.6%
  • Income support 0
  • Debt forebearance 0

Fact-Based Communication

Ghana’s leadership has not engaged in the spread of misinformation or conspiracy theories in its communications, but rather emphasized prevention measures and basic hygiene practices.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1

Having managed an uptick in cases after easing restrictions, Ghana's case rate has fallen back down to among the lowest levels in the Index.

  • Total deaths 335
  • Death rate per 100K 10.8
  • Total cases 54,930
  • Cases per 100K 1,768
  • Percent of positive tests 5.4
  • Change in positivity rates +1.7
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Jun 05 Religious services with fewer than 100 people are allowed 7.14
2 Jun 15 Schools and universities reopen 9.44
3 Sep 01 International flights resume, with Covid-19 protocols in place 3.42

Differentiating Factors

  • Ghana set to reopen schools after nine-month shutdown: All schools from kindergarten through secondary school are set to reopen on January 15th, 2021 despite surging COVID-19 cases. Read More
  • Reopening international passenger flights: Restrictions extended for 3 months as Ghana remains the second most impacted country in Africa and 7th in cumulative cases; airports have reopened (9/1) for international passengers. Read More
  • Testing capacity among highest in Africa: Ghana's stepwise lockdown, widespread testing and tracing, and adaptation of health facilities with incentives and supports for healthcare workers have managed spread. Read More
  • Officials model healthy behavior: Ghana's leadership has focused on setting a good example to the public. Both President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Health Minister announced in early July that they would self-isolate following a close contact testing positive for coronavirus, and Deputy Trade and Interior Minister Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah was forced to resign after violating self-isolation protocols. Read More
  • Major expansion in healthcare capacity: In mid-May it was announced that 90 new hospitals would be built as part of an overhaul of the healthcare system, which has struggled to cope with COVID-19. Read More
  • Leaders fighting insurgents amid COVID-19: Ghana's relatively low case incidence and death rate is particularly impressive considering that the government has had to focus much of its attention on counter-terrorism against JNIM and ISGS, both of whom are pushing westward. Read More
Compared with Other African Countries
  • 77.4
    Senegal 19,364
    Per 1M

    Senegal’s COVID-19 policy response has been very strong across the board, buoyed by strong public health directives and a reliance on science and facts.

  • 100
    Kenya 96,614
    Per 1M

    Kenya has a strong overall policy score, although down significantly from January. However, it is consistently scoring well in all areas, particularly its reliance with respect to facts and science on COVID-19.

  • 96.4
    Ethiopia 124,652
    Per 1M

    Despite having relatively weak pre-pandemic capacity, swift action and prevention-based messaging from the government helped mitigate spread early on in the crisis.

  • 54.9
    South Africa 1,073,887
    Per 1M

    Overall, South Africa's score is relatively strong with vigorous policy implementation—particularly with respect to lockdowns—offset by its relatively meager financial response.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million