COVID-19 Scientist Says Ghana In Danger Under New Wave

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Ghana faces grim prospects of recording high coronavirus deaths if adequate preventive measures are not taken to deal with the pandemic. 

According to a researcher at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Dr Augustina Sylverken the increasing number of COVID-19 cases being recorded in the laboratories show clearly that what appears to be the second wave of the disease in Ghana portends danger for all.

Dr. Sylverken said it is quite scary observing the behaviour of the virus and the disregard on the part of Ghanaians who by now have gotten used to the virus when it first struck the country.

She warned that chances are that the country may see more deaths in the coming days.

“It’s quite scary and look, chances are that if we don’t take care in the next few days we may see more deaths. Sometimes we have to be blunt as possible, chances are that we see an increase in more positive cases and I think this would be the best of time for every single of us to adhere strictly to all the safety protocols,” Dr. Sylverken gave the warning when she spoke on Accra based 3FM’s Sunrise Morning Show yesterday.

She added that every single Ghanaian is at risk.

“I am super scared and if I am saying am super scared then I honestly don’t know what and how the other people in the lab are feeling… it’s scary, it looks quite scary,” she emphasized.

The Doctor who is one of the few Scientists in Ghana studying the behaviour of the virus said: “This is a smart virus and obviously most viruses are smart but I call this virus super smart so that you don’t have any case in your country but you start seeing them in clusters and then later they move into the communities and have decided to mutate itself and have variants of itself.”

Meanwhile, a senior research consultant at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana, Dr. Peter Kojo Quashie has also disclosed that the new variants of COVID-19 identified in the country were brought in from the United Kingdom and South Africa.

According to Dr. Quashie, apart from the ones from the U.K and South Africa, others yet to be confirmed bear resemblance to that of a Brazilian variant.

“A number of them are the UK variants and then we have at least one South African variant. And there are some variants that look like that of the Brazilian but are not quite clear yet so I wouldn’t put them as part of the Brazil variant, but they have some of the mutations.

“This is something that we did as part of the special facilities across the country which have been tasked to sequence samples arriving. So we are sequencing the airport samples as well as the more recent local samples. So far we haven’t detected them in our local samples but from the airport, these were some of the variants detected,” Dr. Peter Kojo Quashie stated in an interview with Accra based Starr News.

He added that these new variants, however, are not ‘more deadly’ but spread faster thereby calling for strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

“So far what the evidence seems to suggest is that they spread faster. They are highly transmissible and they replicate faster. That does not mean they are more deadly. When you have something that spreads faster, it’s going to affect a larger chunk of your population very quickly.

“So it just means that we have to be even more careful about how we follow our protocols…..when you have a more infectious virus that means that if in the past you needed a hundred viral particles for you to be infected, in this case, you need just 10 to be infected. So it spreads faster and by virtue of that you’ll see more sick people faster” Dr. Peter Kojo Quashie explained.

President Akufo-Addo in his address established that the new strains of the virus have been discovered in the country and that the government was putting in efforts to determine the presence and extent of the spread in the country.

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