The Ghana Health Service has said scientific data do not support assertions that political rallies can cause a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
With less than two weeks to the 7 December 2020 general elections, many political parties have been crisscrossing the country with mass rallies, which has raised concerns of public safety in this time of the pandemic.
But addressing the press on Ghana's fight against the pandemic on Wednesday, 25 November 2020, the Director-General of the Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, advised Ghanaians to be more careful in enclosed places with no ventilation rather than open spaces.
He noted that although large rallies do not lead to a spike in the disease, political parties should not let their guard down on the COVID-19 protocols.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said: “For the rallies, it’s about science and data and there’s no evidence that any rally has led to an outbreak but even in all that, if the rallies were causing the outbreaks, the rallies don’t only occur in Accra because the larger rallies occur outside Accra and we’re not seeing any outbreaks there but that is not to say that we’re not being cautious”.
“We’re still talking to people about the use of masks and we’ve explained to the parties that they should encourage the use of masks. Because it’s an open space, ventilation is ok and the virus doesn’t do well under such environment.
“Of course after the event, people will move into small spaces and that changes the dynamics and, so, people must still wear the mask for protection at all places. There are riskier areas…so it’s the enclosed areas that we must be more careful about”.
Meanwhile, it was disclosed that the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has recorded a total of 120 new cases of COVID-19 infections in the month of November, bringing the total number of imported cases to 264 since the reopening of the airport, as directed by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye explained that the latest surge in COVID cases is as a result of the second wave being experienced in the Americas and Europe.
He, however, noted that efforts are still underway to limit a further spread of the virus.
He added that plans are also in place to deploy potential vaccines developed by global corporations once they have been validated by the World Health Organization (WHO).