Wearing of masks has been made compulsory in Ghana.

Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has urged the general public to continue to strictly adhere to laid down Covid-19 safety protocols, even as government tries to procure vaccines for inoculation.

The protocols are; washing of hands with soap under running water and observing social distancing.

“It’s time for Ghanaians to take their destinies into their own hands and ensure that we are remaining Covid-19 negative. As individuals, you need to appreciate the need to make sure that you’re Covid free,” Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe said.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Tuesday, June 22, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe said in the absence of vaccines to deal with the deadly Indian variant of the virus, detected in the country recently, observing the safety protocols is the most effective way of protecting one’s self from contracting disease.

He was contributing to discussions on the Show regarding the detection of the Delta variant of Covid- 19 in the country and measures being put in in place to curtail its spread.

Dr Bekoe said the fight against the pandemic is a collective responsibility, thus, all citizens must play their roles.

“Clearly, you need to make sure you’re wearing your face mask. That is the most effective intervention in all parts of the world. Government has also set systems in place, in terms of testing, tracing, treatment, etc.,” he stressed.

Detection of the Delta variant

The most contagious Covid-19 variant, originating from India, has been recorded in Ghana.

This was confirmed by the Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP, of the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare.

Speaking to Daniel Dadzie on JoyPrime’s Prime Morning, Monday, June 21, he said the Indian variant, also known as the Delta variant, is one of the forty-five (45) variants that are currently in Ghana.

While calling on government to immediately enforce the Covid-19 preventive protocols in order to stem a potential spread of this deadly variant, the Professor revealed that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are not effective against the Indian variant.

“Now we have to be looking at the right vaccines. All this while, we’ve been fixed on AstraZeneca and Sputnik V but we have to shift towards more of Pfizer and others which have a better chance of protecting against this variant. Because the future is, we are going towards these aggressive variants”, he stressed.

But in a reaction, Dr Asiedu Bekoe said “I think what he meant was that the Sputnik and AstraZeneca vaccines are less effective. It’s not that it does not work [but] Pfizer is more effective.”

He further stressed that “the detection of the new variant means that the virus is still in circulation so we need to be conscious about it. As I said, whether its Alpha or Beta or Delta, you need to wear your mask, you still need to wash your hand with soap and running water and make sure that you’re observing social distancing.”