The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe has attributed the rising cases in Ghana’s COVID-19 case count to the disregard of safety protocols, especially the wearing of nose masks.
He noted that Ghanaians are exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus and with the Delta Variant now in the country, “it is general knowledge Ghanaians are not regarding COVID-19 safety protocols. A few weeks back, we recorded cases of the Delta Variant in the Achimota School but we have not recorded them across board. But we can attribute the rising numbers to the introduction of the new variant,” he said.
According to him, the adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols helps fight against any kind of COVID-19 variant “and I will plead with Ghanaians to regard safety protocols as we are still living with the virus.”
He expressed worry over the large number of people going about their daily activities not wearing nose masks. “Luckily enough, we are not recording any severe diseases but we don’t have to get there and record high death rates before we start wearing our nose masks. The nose mask protects us from the virus and we need to wear them and be careful.”
Addressing news on intensive care units in the country being overrun by cases of COVID-19, he told Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show, that the GHS is keenly monitoring the situation and is well informed of the situation. “Our intensive care units have not been overwhelmed,” but he fears the country might reach that stage if safety protocols are not adhered to.
“We can prevent COVID-19 from being severe by wearing nose masks. The wearing of nose masks is the best intervention that can protect any person aside from being vaccinated. Always remember to wear your mask when leaving home. Own your life and health as the pandemic is still around,” he told Ghanaians.
Although he believes in the enforcement of safety protocols and the meting out of punishments to those who disregard them, he believes this will not achieve the maximum impact if behavioural change is not encouraged.
“With the media’s support and messages to orient people on the importance of wearing nose masks, people will change and wear masks whenever they leave home. Enforcement is important but I want to rely on the individual to regard safety protocols. Always know that you are in charge of your health,” he stated.
As of Monday, July 12, 2021, Ghana’s active cases of COVID-19 was 2,247 with 801 deaths. This is a sharp increase as compared to the past few months when the country had not recorded any cases of the Delta Variant.