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COVID-19: Ghana’s active cases now 1,954, death toll 1,263

The country’s COVID-19 active cases now stand at 1,954 with no critical case as at 16 December

At least 437 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) pushing the country’s active cases to 1,954.

The death toll has hit 1,263, an update on the GHS COVID-19 dashboard reveals.

As at 16 December, 2021, Ghana’s total confirmed cases stand at 133,406. Currently, health officials have recorded 129,829 recoveries.

So far, 24  persons are in severe condition with no critical case, according to GHS. Cases detected at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) are 3,688  with 3,238 recoveries.

Land borders remain closed

The President Nana Akufo-Addo has said Ghana’s land borders remain closed to human traffic until “further notice” as part of plans to control the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

The borders have remained closed since March 2020 when Ghana first recorded coronavirus.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday (15 December) in his update number 27 on measures taken against the spread of the virus, Akufo-Addo said: “As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihoods for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country.”

He added: “We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open. Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent a fourth wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice.”

Akufo-Addo said his government has beefed up its response capability and capacity to deal with the virus should “we encounter an upsurge in infections.”

“Over time, we have expanded our healthcare infrastructure, including oxygen supply and reach, particularly with respect to testing and treatment centres, and the training of health professionals across the country, in the care of severe and critically ill persons. However, our best bet in the fight remains adhering to the enhanced hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing protocols, and getting vaccinated.

“Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate, or continue to spread the virus in the country. I, on my part, will do everything possible to protect lives and livelihoods, and help return our nation to normalcy,” Akufo-Addo said.

Reviewed COVID protocols

Meanwhile, all persons who are 18 years and above arriving in the country are required to provide evidence of full vaccination for COVID-19.

The directive forms part of a review of the national COVID-19 preventive protocol instituted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to limit the importation of COVID-19 in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Fred Dzakpata

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