The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the new COVID-19 variants from the United Kingdom (UK) are spreading faster and widely among the Ghanaian population, with higher disease burden.
The GHS says the trend of the spread of the UK variants could overtake the traditional ones in existence in Ghanaian communities, if people failed to strictly observe the preventive and safety protocols put in place by the government. Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the GHS, who announced this in Accra on Tuesday, during the COVID-19 Media Update, entreated Ghanaians to step up the wearing of facemasks and observe other safety protocols to avoid contracting the deadly virus. Currently, the number of people falling sick from COVID-19 infections stood at 32 per cent, with 5,515 active cases as of January 30, 2021. Dr Kuma-Aboagye said there had been increase in workplace infections recently and urged managers of both public and private organizations to adopt shift system and virtual platforms to curb the spread of the virus. The GHS Boss stated that it had intensified Contact Tracing in hotspot areas, with 3,500 tests conducted daily. Additionally, the Service had deployed Data Entry Clerks and Surveillance Officers to public health laboratories, adding that testing for COVID-19 in public health laboratories was free. Meanwhile, Ghana has recorded 772 new cases of COVID-19, with eight more deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 424, as of January 30, 2021. There were 294 persons on admissions in treatment centres out of which 34 are in critical condition, 122 cases are severe while 138 cases are considered mild and moderate. The country's daily average cases stood at 700. Out of the 772 new cases, Greater Accra Region recorded 544 cases in 20 districts, representing 84.8 per cent. Ashanti-97, Western-25, Eastern- nine, Northern-34, Volta-25, Bono-10, Upper West-16, Upper East-seven and Kotoka International Airport- three. There were six regions that did not record any new cases in the latest update. They included Oti, Bono East, North East, Savannah, Central and Ahafo regions. The country's COVID-19 cumulative cases stood at 67,782 after conducting 783,452 tests, with 61,843 people discharged/ discoveries (91.2 %) and 8.7 per cent positivity rate. Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the Service had commenced Antigen Testing in suspected outbreaks in workplaces and schools, as well as health facilities where health workers had been exposed to COVID-19. Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the government would this week step up messaging to educate and sensitise the public on the safety protocols and appealed to the media to collaborate in that regard. He noted that given the severity of the new COVID-19 variants, it was imperative for everybody to be on guard to avoid contracting the infectious disease.