The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called for improved efforts to safeguard the country from experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Association, in a statement signed by Dr Frank Serebour, President and Dr Titus Beyuo, General Secretary, said the emergence of the new Omicron variant called for concerted efforts from all and encouraged the populace to get vaccinated.
It also urged the Government to continue with efforts to secure more vaccines for the country.
“We urge the government to continue all efforts at limiting importation of COVID-19 by increased testing at the ports of entry as well as sequencing of all positive cases to enable prompt detection and containment of mutant strains such as the omicron variant.
“It has been gratifying to note the downward trend of active cases of COVID-19 in Ghana that saw us record zero new cases on some days in the past few weeks and we commend all stakeholders for the efforts to achieve this feat,” the statement said and reiterated the need for all to adhere strictly to the existing COVID-19 prevention protocols at all events and activities, especially during the yuletide.
The statement said with several mutations noted on the spike protein of the mutant strain, it was still unknown if the new strain may evade immunity acquired from past infection or vaccination.
It said data available from Southern Africa showed that in the Gauteng Province, the R0 (1.93) of Omicron variant was higher than that of the Delta variant (R0 of 1.47), meaning the new variant may be potentially more infectious than the Delta variant.