At least four more persons have died of COVID-19 pushing Ghana’s death toll to 588, the latest figures from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) reveal.
The country’s active cases now stand at 6,404 after 428 new coronavirus cases were confirmed at the laboratories.
As of 21 February 2021, the GHS reports that the country’s total confirmed cases increased to 81,673 out of which 74, 681 have recovered.
Breakdown of regional cases:
Greater Accra Region – 46,587
Ashanti Region – 14,195
Western Region – 4,981
Eastern Region – 3,613
Central Region – 2,870
Volta Region – 1,652
Northern Region – 1,131
Bono East Region – 1,099
Upper East Region – 1,093
Bono Region – 958
Western North Region – 797
Ahafo Region – 663
Upper West Region – 377
Oti Region – 272
North East Region – 98
Savannah Region – 72
Strategy for vaccine plant
Meanwhile, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says Ghana has a vaccine manufacturing strategy that will enable the country to fully establish a vaccine manufacturing plant.
Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show (ABS) on Thursday, Delese Mimi Darko, chief executive officer of the FDA said, “Definitely, that is the president’s number one priority. At least I got involved about a year ago and actually, we have gone down a bit on this because of all the activities that we are having to do to try and catch up with the disease…”
She added, “We actually have a vaccine manufacturing strategy for Ghana. I am part of the team, Noguchi is part of the team, a few more researchers and the industry is part of the team. And we are looking to fully establish a vaccine manufacturing plant in Ghana.
“Maybe while research is still going on, we are planning to have some industries and we already have one that is up and coming; it’s nearly done. We are monitoring that one; that can even do fill-finish. So they get the bulk vaccine, they will fill it and we have it at least finished it up here [in Ghana].”
Delese Mimi Darko said Ghana is looking at producing its own COVID-19 vaccine, adding “In the meantime, we’ve engaged a committee and the president is sitting on our backs to ensure that this goes on. That would look at researching into our own vaccine. We have good enough research institutions here.
“We have top-class researchers in this country and they are respected everywhere and above all, we have a regulatory agency that is a center of excellence in clinical trials in Africa. So with this, we put together and with the backing of the president, I think we will get there. We have started and we’ll make sure that we do this before another pandemic,” she added.
Ghana on Wednesday (24 February) took delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
This is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.
A statement issued by the information ministry said the COVID-19 vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations.