President Akufo-Addo has expressed concern about the seeming relaxation in adhering to Covid-19 protocols which is leading to a fresh surge in reported cases of the virus.
In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, the President noted with worry the fact that there had been an increase in active cases from 398 cases recorded three weeks ago, to 1,139 active cases, as at Friday, November 6.
“The total number of deaths now stands at 320, a great majority of them, still, with underlying illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic liver disease and asthma,” he said, adding “the number of daily infections is on the rise, from an average 25 new cases per day then, to an average of over 130 new cases per day in the course of the last two weeks.”
In Greater Accra, he revealed that “with the exception of two districts, all the others have reported cases. In contrast, we have only seen a cluster of cases in the other regions from only a handful of districts. These figures, obviously, give cause for concern in view of what is happening in Europe and America, following the outbreak of a second wave of infections that is engulfing so many other countries.”
The President said that “an analysis of the active case data suggests that the Greater Accra Region accounts for some 75%) with Ashanti, Bono, Eastern and Western being responsible for 16% of active cases,” with the remaining 11 regions making up four per cent of the cases, with arrivals at Kotoka International Airport responsible for the other five per cent.
“Indeed, the high compliance rate with mask wearing of persons surveyed by the Ghana Health Service in some selected areas of Accra, for example, to which I referred optimistically in Update No.15, has, according to a new survey by the same service, fallen alarmingly from 44.3% to 5%,” he noted with worry, while insisting “this is not acceptable, as the enhanced hygiene and mask wearing protocols must now be central features of our lives, and they must continue to remain so for some time to come, until we see to the elimination of the virus from our country,” he said, adding “it appears that we are letting our guard down.
“Now more than ever, we have to adhere to mask wearing, hand washing, the use of sanitizers, and social distancing protocols that have become a part of our daily routines, and which has ensured that we do not impose, all over again, the restrictions we are seeing in other parts of the world.”
He reaffirmed the government’s decision to enhance the measures of tracing, testing and treatment, saying, “To this end, I have instructed the release of additional logistics, including vehicles, to the Ghana Health Service in order to help beef up contact tracing, and the supervision and monitoring of asymptomatic cases being managed from home. We are also employing the use of technology to augment our contact tracing efforts, as well as the supervision and monitoring of homecare cases,” he emphasized.
“We will continue to limit the importation of the virus, embark on the strategic, controlled easing of public gatherings, enhance public education and information and continue to provide relief and support to individuals, families and businesses,” he said.
Government has also resolved to open the 100-bed Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre, located at the Ga East Hospital in the next few days, under the management of the Ghana Health Service.
“The provision of adequate medicines, equipment and personal protective equipment to enable health workers attend to home-based patients has also been guaranteed,” he said.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent