COVID-19: Ghana’s death toll now 961

The country’s active COVID-19 active cases stand at 6,425, with 54 people said to be in critical condition, the Ghana Health Service says

At least 568 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), pushing the country’s active cases to 6,425.

The death toll has hit 961 after 16 additional fatalities were recorded across the country, an update on the GHS COVID-19 dashboard reveals.

As of 17 August  2021, Ghana’s total confirmed cases stood at 113,957. Health official have recorded 106,571 recoveries.

One hundred and thirty-nine people are in a severe condition and 54 cases remain critical, the GHS says. The number of cases detected at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is 2,551, with 2,380 recoveries.

According to the Ghana Health Service, the month of July recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases among international arrivals since the airport reopened on 1 September 2020.

Burial team on strike

The environmental health workers in charge of burying people who have died of COVID-19 declared an industrial strike effective Wednesday 18 August 2021.

The directive was issued by the leadership of the Environmental Health Officers Alliance-Ghana (EHOA-GH), whose membership covers 7,000 health practitioners.

Speaking to Asaase News on Wednesday, the group said members decided to lay down their tools because the government has failed to provide them “with the needed resources for us to be able to discharge our duties”.

The president of the group, Yaw Akwaa Lartey, stressed: “We’ve laid down our tools for now. Our members are contracting COVID-19, so we’re laying down our tools until the government gives us equipment.”

He said: “We’re not burying the bodies again. We have families.”

Touching on the logistics they require, Lartey said: “We need disinfection materials and PPE. We need a private hearse stationed at the [local] assemblies, specifically for COVID-19 dead bodies.

“We’re forced to use the same hearse [as is used] for ordinary bodies, which is wrong. We’re using a private hearse, and unfortunately when it is not available we’re forced to use the KIA trucks that convey foodstuffs to Accra.”

Lartey told Asaase Radio’s Jonathan Ofori in the Ashanti Region that the workers have written several “letters to the Minister of Health, Minister of Local Government and the COVID-19 response team since May 2020, and nothing has happened”.

He warned the industrial action could affect the fight against the virus if the government fails to respond to the workers’ demands.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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