Sunday, 19 September

Threat of 3rd COVID wave real – GHS boss

Health News
Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has said a few factors have made the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana “real”.

“Currently, there is non-adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols. Other threats include outbreaks of cases in neighbouring countries, surges in Ashanti and Greater Accra [regions], which is the main hotspot in Ghana, low vaccination coverage and the entry of the Delta variant into Ghana and lastly but not the least, an outbreak in some of our schools,” he told the media at the end of a two-day high-level strategic meeting on COVID-19 in Kumasi, Ashanti Region on Tuesday, 20 July 2021.

“The threat of the third wave is very real,” he added.

According to Dr Kuma-Aboagye, the “capacity for case management has been strengthened with an increase in the number of treatment centres from two to 70 currently, with a treatment centre in each region”.

“Training of critical staff and provision of equipment have also been implemented”, he noted.

According to him, the “establishment of the Ghana Infectious Disease Center is one and the establishment of the Electronic Data System for surveillance data and collection, a robust laboratory capacity from two in early 2020 to 400 total currently [is another]”, adding: “we also have the capacity for Genomic Sequencing.”

Dr Kuma-Aboagye also noted there some protocols have been designed in confronting the upsurge, including how funerals and other events should be organised.

“We are in discussions coming up with a proposal that limits the spread – that makes it safer and while people still go ahead and have the funeral.”

“We think that such a deep cultural thing; that it is not something you can just wish away and, so, we have a draft protocol that we are sharing to ensure that we still have our funerals in safety,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye added.

Meanwhile, the number of active COVID-19 cases has shot up to 3,446, the latest figures from the Ghana Health Service indicate.

Some 304 new cases have been confirmed.

The death toll has also risen to 817.

Since mid-March 2020, a total of 99,734 cases have been recorded.

Of that number, 95,451 have recovered.

On Tuesday, President Nana Akufo-Addo said the rising cases shows that “we’ve let our guard down”.

Addressing Muslims at the Eid-ul-Adha celebration at the National Central Mosque at Kanda, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us – unfortunately”.

“This means that for the second year running, we are having to hold a subdued Eid celebration”, he observed.

“As we continue to count on the grace of God to protect our country from the ravages of the pandemic like he has since its outbreak, we can only minimise its health effects and avoid a full-blown third wave if we continue to be responsible and observe the safety and hygiene protocols.”

He noted: “The recent increase in the number of infections is a source of worry for me and, indeed, for all Ghanaians”.

“From the rising numbers, it is safe to conclude that we have let our guard down and are beginning to live our lives and conduct our businesses as though we are in normal times”.

“It is important to repeat that the virus is still with us and until each one of us receives a dose of the vaccine, the protocols must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily activities,” he added.