With the detection of a new strain of the coronavirus virus; SARS-Cov-2 Delta variant, there have been renewed calls to religiously adhere to safety protocols.
The Delta strain which is said to have emerged from India and already claimed many lives in other parts of the world is already running riot in Ghana. Its detection has increased the country’s case load to 4,094 active cases with a death toll of 821 as of July 21, 2021.
Though Ghana has commenced a vaccination programme, the country has been lagging with the availability of enough vaccines to inoculate citizens. According to the Ghana Health Service, only a little over a million citizens out of a 30 million population have been vaccinated.
As a result of this, a United Kingdom-based pharmacist and Fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu has warned that a third wave of infections will be more lethal.
In an interaction with JoyNews’ NewsFile on July 24 monitored by GhanaWeb, Dr Asiedu cautioned that social gatherings such as parties, funerals and others still remain as super spreader venues of the new strain which is already claiming lives.
“Data already suggests that communities with herd immunity are likely to be face reinfections of the virus even with persons who have been vaccinated…So when I hear the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Nsiah Asare say that no one was infected at a funeral I find that to be very shocking because he’s supposed to be communicating the reality on the ground,” Dr. Asiedu said.
“…So, I would at this point want to speak with the Ghanaian that if anybody suggests that you and them are both vaccinated and so they can come for a function ignoring all protocols, it is not true because the person want you to turn into a ghost and we need to be aware and blunt on that,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) says it has observed, “with concern,” some characteristics of the new Delta variant of SARS-Cov-2 detected at the institute’s testing centre since April 2021.”
In a statement issued on Saturday, 24 July 2021, the Institute said the “positive cases have very high viral loads indicated by low cut-off thresholds (CT values) obtained in the real-time RT-PCR assay.”
The CT values for the majority are between 15 and 20 compared to higher values above 30, seen previously, the Institute noted.
It said has also observed that “the positive individuals are taking longer to clear the virus,” explaining: “This is evident in the number of retests that still test positive.”