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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says to beat COVID-19, enforcement of the safety protocols has to be a shared responsibility and not the preserve of the security agencies.
That had become critical because the gross disregard for the safety protocols and improper use of face masks were the major challenges in the fight against COVID-19, it said.
Addressing the Minister’s Press Briefing in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, called on individuals, institutions and households to get involved to help avert the escalation of the already serious third wave the country was saddled with.
“If households, service providers and institutions strictly ensure that people they admit into their spaces adhere to the safety protocols, particularly the washing of hands, proper wearing of face masks and the social distancing rule, the numbers will come down.
“The current trajectory of cases, with low adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, poses a significant risk of a higher third wave,” he said.
Role of vaccines
Dr Kuma-Aboagye asked the public not to abandon the safety protocols even after they had been vaccinated.
He said the proper wearing of face masks, the application of hand and respiratory hygiene and other protocols were still the game-changer in responding to the global pandemic because the protocols were the only known sure way of preventing the spread of the virus.
He reiterated the fact that although vaccines were helpful in mitigating the impact of COVID-19, none was a 100 per cent protective measure against being infected.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye explained that people who had been fully vaccinated must complement that with the proper wearing of face masks, adherence to hand and respiratory hygiene, as well as social distancing, to help protect vulnerable populations.
“Vaccination will not prevent you from infection, but chances that you might not fall sick are very high and you are highly likely not to die from COVID-19.
“But a fully vaccinated person who is a carrier can transmit to more vulnerable people, which include those who have not been vaccinated, and they might be severely hit by the virus, even if they do not die,” he explained.
Providing an update, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the Delta variant, which had a higher transmission rate and a severer disease burden, was becoming dominant and called for stricter enforcement of the safety protocols to prevent escalation of the virus.
He said the situation had resulted in increased workplace and school infections, with active cases increasing from 1,600 to over 6,000 within a month.
He said the Volta, Bono and Bono East regions emerged as additional hotspots.
The director-general said as of July 1, 2021, the Volta Region had 16 active cases, which had risen to 532 currently, while the Bono Region, which had eight active