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Political rallies not responsible for COVID-19 spike – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has flatly rejected suggestions that political rallies are responsible for the recent spikes in the country’s COVID-19 cases.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, said scientific data does not support such assertions. 

“For the rallies, it’s about science and data, and there’s no evidence that any rally has led to an outbreak, but even in all that, if the rallies were causing the outbreaks, the rallies don’t only occur in Accra because the larger rallies occur outside Accra, and we’re not seeing any outbreaks there, but that is not to say that we’re not being cautious.”

It comes after concerns were raised about the onset of a possible second wave of Covid-19 cases when the number of new infections saw a surge about a month ago, eroding the strides made by the country in the past.

Some medical experts had expressed fears that with political rallies heightening in many parts of the country, these mass gatherings could be panaceas for a boost in the COVID-19 numbers.

Mahama at a campaign rally

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) warned of a potential hike in cases of the disease as political campaigns intensify ahead of the December 7 elections.

Its General Secretary, Dr. Justice Yankson believed the rallies undertaken by the major parties had the potential of accelerating the spread of the infections.

But the Ghana Health Service disagrees.

“We’re still talking to people about the use of masks, and we’ve explained to the parties that they should encourage the use of masks. Because it’s an open space, ventilation is ok, and the virus doesn’t do well in such an environment.

“Of course after the event, people will move into small spaces, and that changes the dynamics and, so, people must still wear the mask for protection at all places. There are riskier areas…so it’s the enclosed areas that we must be more careful about,” Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye said.

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