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More schools in the Ashanti Region continue to record active COVID-19 cases after the new Delta variant was detected in some schools.
Health officials in the region say a total of 85 schools have recorded positive COVID-19 cases, with 365 school children and other staff infected.
Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, who revealed this at a press conference in Kumasi attributes the trend to the disregard for COVID-19 safety protocols.
He said given how highly transmissible the new strain of the virus is, there is the need to ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 preventive protocols, including handwashing, wearing of nose masks, and the use of hand sanitizer.
Dr. Tenkorang indicated that the situation could be dire because most of the students are yet to be vaccinated.
“The Delta variant is more transmissible so for instance, if one person gets it in a school, it is likely that the person will transmit it and within a short time, everybody will be infected. When you are dealing with the Delta variant, it makes the number of cases go up rapidly, and if they are in an enclosed setting like the schools. This is the reason why it is important to adhere to the protocols and guidelines especially in the schools because we know that in the schools, most of the children were not covered by the vaccination exercise,” he said.
‘Don’t charge for tests’
Meanwhile, Dr. Tenkorang has cautioned health facilities in the region against charging persons who come for COVID-19 tests to stop the practice.
He said the government has expressly instructed all public and private health facilities not to charge persons who walk in for OVID-19 tests, except those who seek the test as part of processes to travel outside the country.
“It has come to the notice of the regional health directorate that some facilities are charging for COVID tests. The government has come out with a policy that the COVID test is free [to all] apart from those who are using it to travel outside the country. So whether it is a private hospital or a public hospital, the COVID test still remains free, if you charge, it is against the law,” he said.
The Ashanti Region recorded a total of 783 active COVID-19 cases among the general population between 19th and 25th July 2021 alone.
A total of 1,595 health workers in the region have so far tested positive for the virus.