New COVID-19 variant not recorded at community level – GHS

Ghana has not recorded any community case of the new variant of the Coronavirus disease although a few cases have been recorded at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who made this known at a press briefing in Accra on Monday, said a few cases of the UK variant as well as that of South Africa had been recorded at the airport, which was from air travelers.

According to him, although the new variant had not been officially recorded at the community level, “the chances are that we may have them and that may be responsible for the increasing number of spread.”

He noted however that his outfit was yet to conduct a search “to see whether we actually have a community presence of the [new] variant.”

Dr Kuma-Aboagye also indicated that all the 16 regions in Ghana have reported active cases as of January 22.

He added that the number of people who were falling severely and critically sick was worrying.

“About 32 per cent of people testing positive are actually falling sick,” he noted.

Concerning the total number of deaths in the month of January, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said “we have actually recorded a little more than 32 in January.”

New cases

There are currently a total of 3,525 active cases of the disease in Ghana as of Monday, January 25, 2021.

According to Dr Kuma-Aboagye, 646 new cases were recorded between January 21 and 22.

He noted further that the number of persons falling critically sick after testing positive was putting a strain on the limited beds at the various treatment centres.

He said out of the 411 beds, persons who were severely or critically sick had occupied 133.

KIA

As of January 24, the Kotoka International Airport had recorded 1,085 positive cases

Out of that 41 per cent were Ghanaians, while 59 per cent were non-Ghanaians.

Next steps

Outlining the steps to be taken to curb a further surge of cases, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the Food and Drugs Authority had approved the use of antigen testing to ascertain the degree of community spread in hotspots.

He added that antigen testing would also be conducted for suspected cases in schools and workplaces, as well as health facilities when workers are exposed.

Also, public health laboratories would offer a 24-hour service.

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