Director of the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Professor. Gordon Awandare has cautioned against going for parties, funerals and weddings amid the surge in covid-19 cases in the country.
“As a country, we cannot take things for granted anymore, you cannot go to parties, weddings and funerals and drink and chat like we were doing before, we are in a different situation than we were a month ago, so we need to realize that there is a lot of danger out there and we need to protect ourselves and friends and hold each other accountable”.
According to Professor. Awandare, Ghana’s third wave in covid-19 cases is a delayed one because of measures put in place by government.
“As you can see, there is a third wave all over the continent, ours is a delayed one, we are now in our third wave, in many countries, their third wave is subsiding, we have to give credit that some of the measures put in place have actually helped to delay the third wave we are currently experiencing in the country”.
Prof. Awandare explained that there are two variants that are fueling the third wave, the Delta, and another one that has not yet been given a name but is part of the variants that are rising in the system and these are rising because they are more efficient at transmission.
“When you see a variant rising, it means that it is more efficient than the other variants so it is outcompeting them and so that means that when you go to a funeral or a wedding these variants are much more aggressive and they will infect people more than the normal variant”.
He continued that “going to a wedding, you are increasing your risk of several folds because of the more transmissible variants in the country, let us be responsible, let us hold small gatherings, let us hold each other accountable and we will be able to limit the dangers of the third wave”.
He however called on government to ensure that appropriate sanctions are applied to people who flout the covid-19 bye-laws.
“We need to be able to take drastic measures to minimize the impact of the wave so whether the third wave will end up with a thousand cases in a day like we had in January.
He further added that given that we are recording about three hundred cases a of covid-19 cases a day, “if we do well, we can stop it and it will start coming down but if we do not get serious with the protocols again, then it can keep going up and hit thousand cases”.
“The peak of the third wave depends on us and how we behave, if we all wear our mask and be responsible, we can stop the third wave so that it will be a small wave but let us not make any mistake, we are in a third wave now, people need to take precaution, people need to be serious. Everyday people are showing up here and they are testing positive and that tells you that the situation has changed so we cannot take things for granted anymore”.
Prof. Awandare also task Ghanaians to take personal responsibility in the fight against covid-19.
“One of the things we can do as individuals is to hold people accountable, if you are in a room and people are not wearing the mask, you need to insist that they are in their mask otherwise you should leave the room”.
Responding to comments made by the director general of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, on modalities on how public funerals should be organized in the country, Prof. Awandare said “we have to look for stringent implementation of the measures”.