Christine Caroline Isunu, Dilys Sharona Quartey, Thobeka Ntini


COVID-19 has punctured the thickest borders in the world, and even surpassed the global development gap. Containing the spread of COVID-19 is an unquestionable global socioeconomic priority that required immediate protective and mitigation measures across nations, whether developing or developed. Through the case of Ghana, a developing African country and Sweden, a developed European country, we aimed to understand both countries’ preparedness and response strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We conducted a literature review of publicly available information from December 2019 through June 2020; a period in which the virus was first reported and quickly went to its peak. We explored socio-economic challenges and opportunities borne from the preventive and protective responses implemented in Ghana and Sweden. We also explored existing challenges and opportunities that hindered or enhanced the implementation of these protective and preventive measures. We drew on the Strengths and Resilience theoretical perspectives to recognize citizens’ strengths, capacities and resources as an indispensable part of the solution.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


COVID-19; Coronavirus; response; measures; mitigation and protection; challenges; opportunities

Full Text:



Adams, C. N. (2020). Mandatory Mask Wearing Starts Tomorrow in Accra to Curb Spread of COVID-19. At (accessed May 2020).

Adamu, Z. (2020). A solar-powered hand-washing basin encourages personal hygiene in Ghana amidst coronavirus. At (accessed May 2020)

Agyeman, N., K. (2020). Parliament passes the Imposition of Restriction Bill, 2020. at (accessed May 2020)

Akwa, N. S. (2020). 100-bed Covid-19 Isolation and Treatment Facility nearing completion (accessed June 2020)

Alesu-Dordzi, S. (2020). Overview of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1020). At (accessed June 2020).

Aljazeera (2020). Travel restrictions, border shutdowns by country. at (accessed May 2020).

Armah-Attoh, D., Sanny, J. A. N., & Selormey, E. (2020). Ghanaians' Acceptance of Security-related Restrictions Faces Test with COVID-19 Lockdown.

American College of Radiology (2020). ACR recommendations for the use of chest radiography and computed tomography (CT) for suspected COVID-19 infection. ACR website. At (accessed June, 2020).

Anderson, J. (2020). Sweden’s very different approach to Covid-19. At (accessed May 2020).

Anyorigya, D., A. (2020). Coronavirus: Norwegian Embassy in Ghana shuts down after member tested positive. Citi Newsroom.

Anxo, D. (2015). The Swedish Social Model: Resilience and success in turbulent times. In The European Social Model in Crisis. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Ayamga, E. (2020). SHS students create touch-free Veronica bucket to help fight Coronavirus (accessed June 2020).

Bonney, E. & Andoh, D. (2020). Stimulus for 200,000 businesses, GH¢600 million operations. At (accessed June 2020).

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). (2020). COVID-19 survivor’s daughter stoned in Ghana. At (accessed May 2020).

Bjurwald, L. (2020). Social distance, Swedish style: It’s not disruptive if it’s how you live all year round. POLITICO. At (accessed June 2020).

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020a). Symptoms of Coronavirus. At (accessed May 2020).

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020b). What to Do If You Are Sick. CDC. At (accessed June 2020).

Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), Johns Hopkins University. (2020). COVID-19 Dashboard. ArcGIS. Johns Hopkins University. At (accessed May 2020).

Chen, N., Zhou, M., Dong, X., Qu, J., Gong, F., Han, Y., ... & Yu, T. (2020). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. The Lancet, 395(10223), 507-513.

CNBC Africa. (2020). COVID-19 cases reach 1,042. at (accessed June 2020).

Communications Bureau. (2020). The Presidency, Republic of Ghana: Speeches. (accessed May 2020).

Dapaah. E. (2020). Coronavirus cases: Eight patients being treated from home – Akufo-Addo. at (accessed May 2020).

Duncan, J. (2020). "Two cases of coronavirus confirmed in Ghana". Citi Newsroom. At 8 May 2020 (accessed May 2020).

Emmanuel, K. (2020). COVID-19 lockdown: These are the numbers to call for free meals. At (accessed May 2020).

Folkhälsomyndigheten (in Swedish). (2020). Nytt bekräftat fall av covid-19" [New confirmed case of covid-19] at (accessed May 2020).

Frimpong, E. D. (2020). UN Ghana staff tests positive for coronavirus, office shutsdown. Graphic Online. At (accessed May 2020).

Fund, J & Hay, J. (2020). Has Sweden Found the Right Solution to the Coronavirus? Retrieved from (accessed June 2020).

Ghana Health Service (2020). Covid-19 Ghana's Outbreak Response Management Updates at (accessed June 2020).

Ghana News Agency. (2020). US$100 million funding will enhance COVID-19 emergency preparedness – GHS (accessed June 2020).

Göteborgs-posten. (2020). Vi epidemiologer har fått lite för stor makt". At (accessed May 2020).

Government Offices of Sweden (2020a) Strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister’s Office. at (accessed June 2020).

Government Offices of Sweden. (2020b). Crisis package for small enterprises in Sweden. At (accessed May 2020)

Government Offices of Sweden (2020c). Strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At (accessed June 2020).

Grenfell, R., & Drew, T. (2020). Here's Why It's Taking So Long to Develop a Vaccine for the New Coronavirus. Science Alert. Archived from the original on, 28. At (accessed May 2020).

Gyimah, N. Y. (2020). Kumasi pastor arrested again for defying ban on social gatherings. At (accessed June 2020).

Hellman, J. (2020) Can hard lessons be learned from Sweden’s ‘soft lockdown’? At (accessed June 2020).

Henley, J. (2020). Sweden prepares for possible tighter coronavirus measures as deaths rise. The Guardian. At (accessed May 2020).

Holroyd, M. (2020). Coronavirus: Sweden stands firm over its controversial COVID-19 approach. Euronews. At (accessed June 2020).

Hopkins, C., & Kumar, N. (2020). Loss of sense of smell as marker of COVID-19 infection. ENT UK. At

Hui, D. S., Azhar, E. I., Madani, T. A., Ntoumi, F., Kock, R., Dar, O., ... & Zumla, A. (2020). The continuing 2019-nCoV epidemic threat of novel coronaviruses to global health—The latest 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 91, 264.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU). (2020). Launch of GH COVID-19 tracker app at (accessed June 2020).

Jebril, N. (2020). World Health Organization declared a pandemic public health menace: A systematic review of the coronavirus disease 2019 “COVID-19”, up to 26th March 2020. At (accessed May 2020).

Knott, S. (2020). COVID-19 Heralds Mass Cleanup in Ghanaian Capital. At (accessed May 2020).

Kwasin, J. (2020). Life back to normal at markets in Accra. At (accessed May 2020).

Lartey, L. (2020). Pentecost’s Convention Center Ready to Be Used As An Isolation Center: COVID 19. at (accessed June 2020).

Lefa, B. J. (2015). The African philosophy of ubuntu in South African education. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 1(1), 15.

Longman, J. (2020). What life is really like in Sweden amid the coronavirus pandemic: Reporter's notebook. ABC News. at (accessed June 2020).

Maragakis, L. L (2020). Coronavirus, Social and Physical Distancing and Self-Quarantine. At (accessed June 2020).

Mattias, B. (2020). "Bekräftat coronafall i Göteborg – person vårdas på Sahlgrenska". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). At (accessed June 2020).

Mayo Clinic. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic. At (accessed June 2020).

McLaughlin, K. (2020). Sweden is shutting down bars and restaurants where people defied social distancing guidelines. At (accessed June 2020).

Mehta, P., McAuley, D. F., Brown, M., Sanchez, E., Tattersall, R. S., & Manson, J. J. (2020). COVID-19: consider cytokine storm syndromes and immunosuppression. The Lancet, 395(10229), 1033-1034.

Ministry of Communication (MoC). (2020). Launch of GH COVID-19 Tracker App 14/05/2020 (accessed May 2020).

Ministry of Finance. (2020). Government Distributes Foof items to needy individuals and households affected by lockdown. at (accessed June 2020).

Ministry of Health (MoH) (2020). $100 Million Provided To Enhance Coronavirus preparedness and Response Plan – President Akufo-Addo”. at (accessed June 2020).

Naadi, T. (2020). Ghana ‘pool testing’ to increase virus detection. At (accessed June 2020).

National Identification Authority. (2020). The Ghana Immigration Service has once again quelled multiple attempts by Ghanaians and foreigners to enter the country illegally following the closure of Ghana’s borders. at (accessed June 2020).

National Institutes of Health. (2020). New coronavirus stable for hours on surface. SARS-CoV-2 stability similar to original SARS virus. At (accessed May 2020).

New York Times (2020). Coronavirus Travel restrictions, Across the Globe. at (accessed June 2020).

Okumeni, E. (2020). CACI Nungua Estate Assembly supports needy members with food items. at (accessed 14/05/2020).

Orecchio-Egresitz, H. (2020). Sweden had resisted mandatory social distancing measures. That changed on Wednesday. Insider. At (accessed June 2020).

ØresunddirektsInformationscenter. (2020). Partial closure of the Swedish borders due to coronavirus/covid-19. At (accessed June 2020).

Owusu-Fordjour, C. Koomson, C. K. & Hanson, D. (2020). The impact of covid-19 on learning-the perspective of the Ghanaian student. European Journal of Education Studies.

Parker-Pope, T. (2020). Deciding How Much Distance You Should Keep. The New York Times. At (accessed June 2020).

Politi, D. (2020). WHO Investigating Reports of Coronavirus Patients Testing Positive Again After Recovery. At (accessed June 2020)

Radio Sweden (2020, March 27). Meet the housemates navigating co-living and social distancing. SverigesRadios Nyheter. At (accessed June 2020).

Ranson, C. A. (2020). Coronavirus: Family Health Hospital donates Ghana made PPEs to Ridge Hospital. at 14/05/2020 (accessed June 2020).

Robertson, D. (2020). They are leading us to catastrophe: Sweden's coronavirus stoicism begins to jar. The Guardian. (accessed June 2020).

Rolander, N. (2020). Sweden Says Controversial Virus Strategy Proving Effective. at (accessed June 2020).

Salehi, S., Abedi, A., Balakrishnan, S., & Gholamrezanezhad, A. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a systematic review of imaging findings in 919 patients. American Journal of Roentgenology, 1-7.

Sanny, J. A. N., & Asiamah, G. B. (2020). Trusted and influential: Religious and traditional leaders can be assets in COVID-19 fight.

Savage, M. (2020a). Could the Swedish lifestyle help fight coronavirus? BBC News. At

Savage, M. (2020b). Lockdown, what lockdown? Sweden's unusual response to coronavirus.

BBC News. At (accessed June 2020).

Starr FM General News. (2020). Coronavirus: food sharing reflects lack of planning- Health policy analyst. at (accessed June 2020).

Steinmo, S. (2013). Governing as an engineering problem: The political economy of Swedish success. Politics in the Age of Austerity, 84-107.

Svallfors, S. (2011). A bedrock of support? Trends in welfare state attitudes in Sweden, 1981–2010. Social policy & administration, 45(7), 806-825.

Tait, R. (2020). Czechs get to work making masks after government decree. The Guardian. At (accessed June 2020)

Teye. P. N. (2020). Ghana Football association offers 1000-plus capacity facilities for coronavirus fight. at (accessed June 2020).

The Local Sweden. (2020a). Five Stockholm restaurants closed over social distancing breaches. The Local se. At

The Local Sweden. (2020b). The week in pictures: People in Sweden warned to keep social distancing despite spring sunshine. At (accessed June 2020).

The Local Sweden. (2020c): Sweden disputes accusations of lack of coronavirus action: (accessed June 2020).

Trägårdh, L & Özkırımlı, U. (2020). Why might Sweden's Covid-19 policy work? Trust between citizens and state. The Guardian. At (accessed June 2020).

Tutu, D. (2013). Who we are: Human uniqueness and the African spirit of Ubuntu. Templeton Prize.

University of Ghana Public Affairs Directorate (UGPAD). (2020). News Release – University of Ghana scientists sequence genomes of novel coronavirus. at (accessed June 2020).

van Doremalen, N., Bushmaker, T., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., Gamble, A., Williamson, B. N., ... & Lloyd-Smith, J. O. (2020). Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medicine.

Velavan, T. P., & Meyer, C. G. (2020). The COVID-19 epidemic. Tropical Medicine & International Health. n/a (n/a): 278–80.

Ward, A. (2020). Sweden’s government has tried a risky coronavirus strategy. It could backfire. At (accessed June 2020).

World Health Organisation (WHO). (2020a). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report –73. (accessed May 2020).

World Health Organization. (2020b). Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations: scientific brief. At (accessed May 2020).

World Health Organisation (WHO). (2020c). Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19).

WHO News. At (accessed June 2020) World Health Organization (WHO). (2020d). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks. At (accessed June 2020).

World Health Organisation (WHO). (2020). WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020. WHO Press Release. At

Worldometer. (2020). Total Coronavirus Cases in Sweden. At (accessed June 2020).

Yeboah, I. (2020). Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi under partial lockdown. At (accessed June 2020).

Zurek, K. (2020). Coronavirus: American among persons busted trying to illegally cross Ghana. At (accessed June 2020).


Copyright (c) 2020 Christine Caroline Isunu, Dilys Sharona Quartey, Thobeka Ntini

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2015 - 2018. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


Hit counter