COVID-19: Ghana’s active cases drop to 6,771

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) newly reported cases in Africa fell by 20% in the week to 16 January, while deaths dropped by 8%

At least 424 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) pushing the country’s active cases to 6,771.

The death toll hits 1,354 after seven additional fatalities were recorded across the country, an update on the GHS COVID-19 dashboard reveals.

As at 13 January, 2022, Ghana’s total confirmed cases stand at 154, 614. Currently, health officials have recorded 146, 489 recoveries.

So far, 40 persons are in severe condition whiles 9 remain critical , according to GHS. Cases detected at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) are 6,537 with 5,432 recoveries.

Breakdown of regional cases

Greater Accra Region – 86,090

Ashanti Region – 22,234

Western Region – 8,213

Eastern Region – 6,943

Volta Region – 5,869

Central Region – 5,393

Bono East Region – 2,910

Bono Region – 2,277

Northern Region – 1,858

Upper East Region – 1,696

Ahafo Region – 1,132

Western North Region – 1,094

Oti Region – 914

Upper West Region – 805

North East Region – 358

Savannah Region – 291

Cases drop for first time as Africa’s fourth COVID-19 wave ebbs

Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa have dropped significantly and deaths dipped for the first time since the peak of the fourth pandemic wave propelled by the Omicron variant.

The decline nudges the continent past its shortest upsurge yet that lasted 56 days.

Newly reported cases fell by 20% in the week to 16 January, while deaths dropped by 8%. The decrease in deaths is still small and further monitoring is needed, but if the trend continues the surge in deaths will also be the shortest reported so far during this pandemic.

South Africa—where Omicron was first sequenced, and which has accounted for the bulk of cases and deaths—has recorded a downward trend over the past four weeks.

Only North Africa reported an increase in cases over the past week, with a 55% spike. Cases fell across the rest of Africa, where, as of the 16 January, there were 10.4 million cumulative COVID-19 cases and more than 233 000 deaths.

The Omicron-fuelled pandemic wave has resulted in the lowest cumulative average case fatality ratio—the proportion of deaths among confirmed cases—to date in Africa, standing at 0.68% compared with the three previous waves during which the case fatality ratio was above 2.4%. The Omicron variant has now been reported in 36 African countries, and 169 globally.

“While the acceleration, peak and decline of this wave have been unmatched, its impact has been moderate, and Africa is emerging with fewer deaths and lower hospitalizations. But the continent has yet to turn the tables on this pandemic,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

“So long as the virus continues to circulate, further pandemic waves are inevitable. Africa must not only broaden vaccinations, but also gain increased and equitable access to critical COVID-19 therapeutics to save lives and effectively combat this pandemic,” Dr Moeti said.

The African region’s current case fatality ratio remains the highest in the world, although it has been lowered in the last two waves. While improvements have been made in the availability of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients from 0.8 per 100 000 population to 2.0 per 100 000, the numbers are still far from sufficient to meet the demands of the pandemic. In terms of medication, currently patients with severe forms of the virus are being treated with corticosteroids and medical oxygen. Corticosteroids are largely available and relatively affordable, but availability of medical oxygen remains a challenge across the continent.

In addition, African countries face major impediments in accessing other COVID-19 treatment due to limited availability and high cost.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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