The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana is real. The Service said it was due to the increase in cases as well as the detection of the delta variant in communities.
It said the emergence of the new variants with higher infection rate further complicated the non-adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols among the public.
A statement, issued at the end of the GHS high level strategic meeting on COID-19 in Kumasi, said evidence from other countries that had experienced a third wave indicated that the cases were usually twice or three times the cases in the first wave.
It said the rise in cases was of concern to the GHS and that necessitated the strategic meeting of senior managers of the Service.
“The threat of a third major wave in Ghana is real, our first wave recorded a peak of over 1,100 cases in a single day, there were several days during that peak, where we reported between 600 to 1000 cases a day,” it noted.
The statement said other threats of a third wave included; the outbreaks of cases in neighbouring countries, surges in the Ashanti and Greater Accra regions and low vaccination coverage, among others.
It said the increase in cases had largely been from the major hotspots of Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions with a few sporadic outbreaks in other regions such as the Volta and Eastern regions.
“For example, between 11th and 25th April 2021, a total of 968 cases were recorded for the two-week period compared to 2,500 recorded from the 1st to 14th July 2021,” it said.
The statement said following the confirmation of the first two cases of COVID-19 in Ghana on the 12th of March 2020, several more cases had been recorded in the last 16 months.
As of the 17th of July 2021, a total of 99,734 cases were recorded with 817 deaths, with active cases at 3,466, with over 1.3 million tests done.
After the confirmation of the country’s first two cases, Ghana has seen two major and two minor waves.
The first major wave spanned June to July 2020 while a second major wave was experienced from late January to early March 2021.
The Service said the main drivers identified for the second outbreak were activities during the Christmas festivities with lowered adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, coupled with the high number of travelers to Ghana during the Christmas festivities.
The GHS said although its current system had some inherent strengths, all of its capacities could be overwhelmed if a third wave, especially driven by the Delta variant, said to be highly transmissible was not averted.
The statement said it was, therefore, critical for all to adhere to the protocols that had been proven to be effective such as: the wearing of face mask at all times when in public, washing hands regularly with soap under running water or the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, maintaining social distancing and cough etiquette.