A virologist at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) is warning of a third wave of Covid-19 in the country if Ghanaians failed to adhere to safety protocols.
Dr Michael Owusu has observed that many have relaxed in observing the safety protocols, especially the wearing of facemasks, a situation he says could prove dire if any of the new Covid-19 variants were imported into the country.
Countries like the United Kingdom and India have been hit by a strong new variant, causing mass hospitalization and deaths.
Dr Owusu has warned that Ghanaians could not continue to be apathetic towards Covid-19 protocols when the B1617 Covid-19 variant, which has the same transmissibility as B117 discovered in the United Kingdom, continue to lurk around.
India is having B1617. That one has the same transmissibility as B117 and because the behaviour of this one and the variant in the UK are very similar, it is highly likely that if it enters any country, it is going to take that country into the third wave,” he warned.
He cautioned that Ghana, which has been receiving visitors from all over the world may have the best measures at the airport but a slip of a single case from India may prove too expensive.
He wants the public to be wary of developments in India after that Asian country was hit by a wild Covid-19 strain.
For such a highly populated country, it means whatever they have, once they move and travel out of the country, everywhere they go, they are likely to see that country with this variant we have.”
He continued: “When people are not behaving well and you even have one person who slips through here at the airport, that person can easily infect many people and that can contribute to a third wave. I mean we’ve seen the churches that have these mass gatherings.
“If you have one person slip into that place, you will not be a prophet to tell that this will lead to the next wave that we are talking about.”
According to Dr Owusu, it was time the police and other security agencies tasked to enforce all Covid-19 safety protocols did so, adding Ghana cannot afford to be at the same level as India currently.
“We are happy that there is a law in place, but then the implementation and execution and ensuring people are arrested are also other problems.
“We have to ensure that people do what is right; one is the education as what we are doing, and two, we have to continue to enforce the law. For those who flout the law, they should be arrested, and those who don’t put on their masks should be prosecuted”.
“We must revisit what we did before and ensure that people do what they are supposed to do so that we don’t put the country in a difficulty like India is facing now with so many deaths. We don’t want to see that in Ghana.”