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Ghana to maintain protocol despite WHO’s definition of COVID-19

Ghana will maintain its existing protocol despite the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) new definition of the mode of transmission of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, has maintained.

According to the WHO, there was new evidence that suggested that the virus was airborne and could spread through the air.

However, responding to a question on the new classification by the WHO in Accra yesterday, Dr Kuma-Aboagye has said the new classification would not compel Ghana to change its safety protocol.

Rather, he stated it would help the country to beef up means of responding to the safety measures instituted by the service and the government.

“We will not change protocols, whether airborne or not, as long as you strongly abide by the existing protocols by wearing the mask and keeping distance from each other the likelihood of contracting the virus is low,” Dr Aboagye added.

He noted that the fast spread of the disease could be related to how people flouted the protocols and urged them to strongly adhere to it.

The virus, Dr Kuma-Aboagye observed was complicated and could not be seen which makes it necessary for the WHO to constantly update the world on the nature of the coronavirus to enable countries secure means in containing its spread.

The WHO on Tuesday acknowledged evidence emerging of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

The WHO Committee member, Prof Benedetta Allegranzi said evidence on airborne transmission was emerging but was not definitive.

She explained that the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially crowded places, poorly ventilated settings could not be ruled out.

“However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted and we continue to support this,” Prof Allegranzi added.

The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

Any change in the WHO’s assessment of the risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping one metre of physical distancing.

BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE

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