By Ernest Addo
The speed with which the third wave of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) is surging has become a worry to stakeholders who are calling for strict compliance to the safety protocols.
The country has recorded 343 new cases of COVID-19 in a record time, making the total active case count currently stand at 3,142, with 815 deaths.
This paper has gathered that the ICU of the 37 Military Hospital as well as the Ridge Hospital, which has the highest bed occupancy rate of 75% are full, such that, any new cases reported to the hospitals would stress the facilities. At Ridge hospital for instance, as at July 14th, the total beds in Covid ICU beds were 16 and 8 were already occupied by confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Worried by the statistics, President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed concern about the recent increase in COVID-19 infections and is urging citizens to strictly comply with the safety protocols to avoid a full-blown third wave.
Speaking at the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations at the National Central mosque at Kanda in Accra, President Akufo-Addo stated that the only way to minimize the spread of the virus is to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and be safe.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, unfortunately. This means that for the second year running we are having to hold a subdued Eid celebration. As we continue to count on the grace of God to protect our country from the ravages of the pandemic like he has since its outbreak, we can only minimize its health effects and avoid a full-blown third wave if we continue to be responsible and observe the safety and hygiene protocols,”the President said.
He added that a collective effort is required to curb the spread of the virus.
“The recent increase in the number of infections is a source of worry for me and indeed for all Ghanaians. From the rising numbers, it is safe to conclude that we have let our guard down and are beginning to live our lives and conduct our businesses as though we are in normal times. It is important to repeat that the virus is still with us and until each one of us receives a dose of the vaccine, the protocols must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily activities,” he added.
More so, the General Secretary of the Ghana Medication Association (GMA), Justice Yankson, has called for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus.
“I think where we are now, we need to intensify education and do a lot more testing and contact tracing together with the safety protocols,” Mr. Yankson said on Eyewitness News.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has also rescinded its earlier directive for final year Senior High School (SHS) and Technical school students to go home during their six-day mid-semester break.
Although the break holds, the final year students will observe it on campus instead, but with no academic work.
Management of GES in a statement said it had to reverse the directive upon consultation with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to restrict the “mass movement of students due to the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases”.
Meanwhile, just when stakeholders are lamenting the increase in Covid case, Biseaseman, under the supervision of its chief is organizing a homecoming ceremony for its citizens in the diaspora to come and connect with the locals.
Amongst the program lineup for the event, slated for August 1-8th are: Street Art/ Dance, Carnival, Keep-fit, Evening Live Band and an Evening beach-all likely to draw crowds and breach the Covid protocols. Interestingly, the banner announcing the homecoming indicates the event would “Seek the positive strict COVID-19 Protocol.”