Delta variant: We are playing with fire – Health expert warns

The Head, Community Health at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, Prof. Alfred Yawson, is worried the new Delta variant of COVID-19 will spread across the country faster.

According to him, COVID-19 preventive measures have been relaxed.

“We are playing with fire. If we relax and enclosed places like schools, prisons record the new variant, then it will spread quite fast, and the result will be an overwhelmed health system,” he stressed.

He insisted that “We indeed must really put our acts together because the preventive measures seem non-existing, the handwashing is almost history, and only a few places have disinfectants. A lot of people have stopped wearing the nose mask, and these are the things that will undo all the efforts that we have made”.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) said 35 cases of the Delta variant had been detected in Ghana.

Describing the traits of the Delta variant, Prof. Yawson said it is easily transmissible than Alpha and the others.

“Therefore, if the safety protocols are not strictly adhered to, then the country will record spikes in the infected numbers”.

He stressed that health experts had anticipated the Delta variant in Ghana.

“For us, we were expecting it because it was happening elsewhere, but if you don’t put your house in order, then you’ll bear the brunt of whatever it brings along, and I think it is high time we took the bold measures and put in all the legislative measures that we have and get the security people back onto the game then we move from here,” he told JoyNews in an interview monitored by theghanareport.com  on Monday, July 5.

Over the weekend, some 134 students and a staff of Achimota School tested positive for Covid-19, with most cases said to be the new Delta Variant.

“All 135 cases at the time of diagnosis were either asymptomatic or had very mild to moderate illness. One member of staff is among those affected,” Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, said.

Reacting to the development, Prof. Yawson said, “We really need to put our act together and tackle it.”

The delta variant of the COVID-19

The Delta variant of COVID-19 was first identified in India and is known as B.167.2.

It has since been causing a spike in COVID-19 infections among unvaccinated people in England, the United States, and worldwide, prompting several nations to introduce new lockdowns.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has observed that the Delta variant now accounts for 25% of new COVID-19 cases in the US and is on track to becoming the dominant version of the virus circulating in the country, and across the world, with Ghana not being an exception.

Mutations in the Delta variant make it replicate faster and evade the body’s immunity mechanism.

According to WHO, it is the ‘fastest and fittest’ variant yet.

The Delta variant is 50-60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was 50-60 per cent more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19.

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