Ghana records 55,220 positive COVID-19 cases

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Ghana’s COVID-19 active cases as at January 01, 2021, was at 879 with 54,005 recoveries, 18 severely ill, with no critical case.

He said a total of 674,812 tests had so far been conducted, with 55,220 positive cases detected with 336 deaths recorded.

President Akufo-Addo said the situation was a relatively welcome picture, when regard was paid to the data from other countries, especially at a time when many parts of the world were grappling with a second wave of infections and a new variant of the virus, which was said to be more transmissible than the original version.

The President, who was delivering his 21st national update on Ghana’s enhanced response to the COVID-19 pandemic, indicated that the country had not detected any case of the new variant, saying “our scientists tell us that the genetic make-up of the virus in the country has still not changed”.

He stated that the Ghana Health Service, with the support of relevant institutions, continued to monitor events closely, and would advise Government on the way forward.

“Accordingly, the adherence to the enhanced hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing protocols continue to be the tools of our warfare, even when the vaccines arrive in Ghana,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said by observing the protocols strictly, “we are also making sure that the imposition of crippling restrictions and lockdowns do not become options for Government”.

The President said Ghana, was concerned about variant strains of the virus coming into the country, hence the introduction of one of the strictest testing regimes in the world (a two tier testing system), when it’s international airport was re-opened on September, 01, 2020.

The testing regime, required that all passengers arriving at the Kotoka International Airport must be in possession of a negative PCR test result upon arrival in Ghana, a test which should have been conducted not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin, and in addition to this, all passengers are to be subjected to a mandatory COVID test on arrival.

The President stated that as of January 01, 2021, a total of 712 COVID-19 positive cases, out of 118,278 tests conducted had been recorded among international arrivals at the Kotoka International Airport.

He said the month of December alone recorded 387 cases with the positivity rate among international arrivals rising from 0.26 per cent in September to 0.93 per cent in December 2020, a development that called for the strengthening of the existing protocols, to prevent the spread of the disease in Ghana, in light of the new variant of the virus.

President Akufo-Addo outlined some measures in addition to existing guidelines on International Travel for COVID-19, in Ghana, to contain the spread.

The guidelines asked all arriving passengers who tested positive for COVID-19, whether asymptomatic or not, to undergo a seven-day mandatory isolation and treatment at a designated health facility or isolation centre, at the cost of Government.

He said the final discharge of cases would be based on existing case management guidelines and protocols, explaining that all passengers who were in isolation would undergo a repeat test, which would include; genomic sequencing for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival, with the cost also borne by Government.

Again, all passengers who tested negative for COVID-19 would be required to adhere continuously to the safety protocols, and would receive regular information on the virus within five days of arrival in Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo described the testing regime at the Kotoka International Airport as amongst the strictest worldwide, and, as certified by the Food and Drugs Authority, it was capable of detecting the new variant of COVID-19, which was plaguing other nations globally.

Source: GNA

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