Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, a pharmacist, and fellow with the Center for Democratic Development, CDD – Ghana; wants public transport systems reviewed given the spread of new variants of the Coronavirus.
GhanaWeb monitored his submissions today on Joy FM’s Newsfile program on which panelists discussed government efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Asked about public transport measures amid new restrictions, he said: “If people are going into buses and they are loaded and there are no social distancing and every interaction gives an opportunity for people to be infected and the infectivity of the pathogen has gone up by about 1.5 to 1.7, then I sincerely worry because more people are going to be infected.
“And apart from the fact that there is data coming out that the new variants sometimes can be more lethal as well, the other problem is we have fixed assets, that is the number of beds that we have to treat COVID, the number of ventilators we have, the number of hospitals we have,” he added.
The University of Ghana’s West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) recently disclosed that the United Kingdom’s mutated strain of the coronavirus is prevalent among the current infection rates recorded in Ghana.
The Centre reached the conclusion after a January sequencing of samples. Director of the WACCBIP, Dr. Gordon Awandare, said in a tweet: “data shows clearly that B.1.1.7 (first reported in the UK) is now the predominant strain driving local transmission in Ghana.”
The strain known as the 501Y/VUI – 202012/01 was first detected in September 2020. Studies conducted so far reveal that it has been fast spreading around the globe. Experts say it is about 40 to 70 percent more transmissible than the original coronavirus strain.
Asiedu, in his submissions also buttressed the point made by health experts that the more cases rise, the more likely the health system could be overwhelmed. “We need to start disaggregating the crowds, making sure that enforcement works, people are wearing their masks and other things.
“At the moment, I suspect we are in self-preservation mode. We need to be responsible for our own actions. Much as we have our own local constraints … we need to do a lot more.”
As of February 2, coronavirus statistics according to the Disease Surveillance Department of the Ghana Health Service are as follows:
Caseload = 70,046
Active cases = 6,095
New cases =791
Recoveries = 63,502
Deaths = 449
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