Director-General for the Ghana Health Service Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye
Director-General for the Ghana Health Service Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The Director-General of Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, says a third wave is imminent if the current disregard for Covid-19 safety protocols, especially holding social events, continues.

As of July 17, Ghana had recorded a total of 99,734 Covid-19 positive cases, with 817 deaths and the country’s active cases of 3,466 leave health authorities worried.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye has been explaining why the country is experiencing an upsurge in cases since December.

“Currently, there is non-adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols. Other threats include outbreaks of cases in neighbouring countries, surges in Ashanti and Greater Accra, which are the main hotspots in Ghana, low vaccination coverage and the entry of the Delta variant into Ghana and lastly but not the least, an outbreak in some of our schools,” he said.

“The threat of the third wave is very real,” he added.

According to Dr Kuma-Aboagye, Ghana’s health system has some “inherent strength” with, among other things, training of critical staff and provision of equipment as well as the increase of treatment centres from two to 70 since 2020.

“Capacity for case management has been strengthened with an increase in the number of treatment centres from two to 70 currently with a treatment centre in each region. Training of critical staff and provision of equipment has also been implemented.

“The establishment of Ghana Infectious Disease Centre is one and the establishment of the Electronic Data System for surveillance data and collection, a robust laboratory capacity from two in early 2020 to  400 total currently; we also have the capacity for Genomic Sequencing,” he said.

He, however, said the third wave of Covid-19 is imminent if the attitude of the citizenry remains unchanged.

“However, this capacity can be overwhelmed if we do not avert a third wave, especially driven by Delta variant, which is highly transmissible,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye warned.

Meanwhile, Dr Kuma-Aboagye says a new proposal on funerals is being developed to curb the spread of coronavirus through social events.

He spoke to the media at the end of a two-day high-level strategic meeting on Covid-19 in Kumasi.

“Part of the protocols that have been designed includes how funerals etc should be organised,” he said.

“We are in discussions coming up with a proposal that limits the spread – that makes it safer while people still go ahead and have the funeral.

“We think that it is a deep cultural thing that it is not something you can just wish away and so we have a draft protocol that we are sharing to ensure that we still have our funerals in safety,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye added.