Let’s enforce COVID-19 safety protocols — GHS

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye- The Director General of the Ghana Health Service
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye- The Director General of the Ghana Health Service

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is calling for strict enforcement of the COVID-19 safety protocols where appropriate so as to help deal with the increasing number of cases, especially the Delta variant of the disease in the country.

It said so far, 15 of the 16 regions had recorded active cases of the pandemic due to the high level of non-adherence to the safety protocols in all parts of the country.

As of July 18, 2021, the country had recorded 99, 974 positive cases with 95,538 recoveries, and total tests done were 1,379,016.

Active cases

The active cases are 3,618, with an overall positivity being 7.2 per cent and 818 deaths. 

The Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who said this yesterday in an update on the COVID-19 situation in the country. He stated for instance that there were times in the country where 55 per cent of the population wore face masks but “now I don’t think it is even up to five per cent,” he said.

He expressed concern about the abuse of the protocols and indicated that even in schools and other places there were blatant disregard for the wearing of the masks.

“The threat of a third wave in Ghana is very real,” he said, and that evidence from countries that have experienced a third wave indicated that the cases were usually twice or thrice the cases in the first wave.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the country’s first wave last year recorded a peak of over 1,100 cases in a single day and that there were several days during the peak where “we reported between 600 to 1000 cases a day”.

Increase

“There has been a gradual increase in cases over the past weeks. For example, between April 11 and 25, 2021, a total of 968 cases were recorded for the two-week period compared to 2,500 recorded from July 1 to 14, 2021 cumulatively,” he said.

He mentioned one of the reasons as surges in neighbouring countries, with people entering and leaving the country.

The GHS Director General indicated that there was also an increase in the number of cases being picked at the airport, and that the Delta variant in circulation in Ghana was mainly in Accra and Kumasi.

He also mentioned the school, saying that the Delta variant spread very fast and that in cases of  boarding schools it would spread fast in dormitories. He cited the Achimota School where about 200 cases were recorded. Now the active cases are 75.

He said there were also few sporadic cases in the Volta and Eastern regions, at the workplace and some hospitals.

Admissions

In the Greater Accra Region, for instance, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the total cases on admission were 192, 14 critical cases, 29 severe cases and 149 mild to moderate cases.

On international travellers, he said as of July 21, a total of 379,146 had been tested, with the positive cases being 2,107.

The positivity rate is 62.7 per cent for males and 37.3 per cent for women, with the percentage of Ghanaians being 41.8 per cent and non-Ghanaians being 58.2 per cent.

Students

“A total of 367 schools have recorded cases of COVID-19. Cumulative total cases stand at 2,453,” he said, and that “90 per cent of the cases have recovered.

Moreover, he said there were 238 active cases among students in six regions (Ahafo, two; Ashanti, 151, Greater Accra 75; Bono, one; Bone East, one and Oti, eight. The North East is the only region with no cases recorded in schools.

The vaccine situation, he said, remained the same.