The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, says 32 per cent of persons contracting the COVID-19 in the third phase of infection in Ghana are falling sick.
Comparatively, he said, the previous infections saw 21 per cent of people falling sick in June/July and in September when the infections were high, with the majority of them being asymptomatic and, thus, cautioned Ghanaians to adhere to the safety protocols.
Speaking to journalists at a COVID-19 update in Accra, Dr Kumah-Aboagye said the third phase of the COVID-19 surge in January was severe and deadlier compared to the rise in July and September last year.
Currently, he said, 372 persons had succumbed to the infectious disease since the nation recorded its first case in March, 2020.
He said the active cases had increased from 800 to 3,613 as of January 22, 2021, with 62,135 cumulative cases, noting that the middle and upper classes of the population were most affected.
Dr Kumah-Aboagye said due to the severity of the new wave of infections, the GHS would soon begin Antigen testing in suspected outbreaks in schools and workplaces.
Additionally, Antigen test would be used in hospitals when health workers there had been exposed to the virus, and also use it in selected health facilities.
At the moment, Antigen Test is used at the country’s Airport and produces COVID-19 test results within 30 minutes.
Dr Kumah-Aboagye said public health facilities would now offer 24-hour service and intensify Contact Tracing using public transport system like Bolt.
He advised management of companies and organisations to decongest their workplaces and use virtual services instead.
Dr Kumah-Aboagye urged the public to comply with the preventive and safety protocols as well as the wearing of nose masks.
He said the entire West African Sub-region was experiencing an upsurge in COVID-19 infections, noting that the new variants detected in Ghana were similar to those found in South Africa and United Kingdom.
However, he said, the nation was yet to confirm a community spread of the new COVID-19 variants as genome sequencing was still ongoing.
He entreated the GHS and the media to continue collaborating in educating the public on the threat posed by the virus in order to improve compliance with the safety rules.
Information Minister-designate, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said if the trend of infections continued, there was a high possibility of experiencing another partial lockdown in the country.
He said the Vaccine Taskforce on COVID-19 had completed its work and awaiting approval from the presidency on how people would be vaccinated.