Dr. Michael Owusu, clinical biologist at the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research(KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) has warned that if the country does not enforce the COVID-19 protocols, a third wave of the pandemic will be very devastating on the country.
He cited countries like Uganda and India who are facing a national emergency because they relaxed on their protocols and thus receded into a third wave of the pandemic in their respective countries.
Dr. Owusu bemoaned the fact that the whole country seems to be relaxing their guard on the safety protocols despite the massive media campaign to keep the populace on their toes on the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it is sad and worrying to witness what went on at the funeral of Sir John and that the authorities should not allow that to happen again in order to prevent a possible third wave in the country.
In an interview with Emmanuel Samani on the Mid Day News, Monday, June 7, he emphasized that the country is not out of the woods yet when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic to let our guard down.
He said “it is quite worrying because we know we are not out of the woods yet, especially when we know places like India and Uganda are struggling with the third wave of the virus. So it’s a bit disturbing that even upon all the education and upon all the noise that the media are making about this, we still allow this to happen. And to tell you the truth, the third wave will be quite devastating and it’s not something that I think we will be able to handle as we have done for the first and second waves. I wish this never happened and I think that we should not encourage or allow this to happen again. Once this virus is still living with us we should do everything possible to prevent a possible third wave in the country.
“We know that these events(funerals, mass gatherings) are catalysts for explosion or rapid spread of the virus, although government is doing well in limiting the importation of the virus into the country. You cannot be hundred percent sure that you will prevent all infections from getting into the country so if you have one or two slip into the country and they end up joining large crowds like what we saw in the sports stadium and other funerals where people move up and down, you may do your best at the borders but you may not prevent community transmission because it’s open and everybody moves up and down, everybody moving and sharing things. On this note I think that it is not very appropriate and it’s something that we should not ever allow to happen”.
On the question that some people will say they have taken all two jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine so they can move and gather without wearing nose masks, he answered that “I think that will be a big mistake for people to assume that, Ideally we need to reach a herd immunity before we can think of putting in protocols to remove their masks. We only have about 0.5 to 1% of people who have been vaccinated and we cannot use that number to prescribe or make decisions that people should not wear their masks.
“The number of people who are still susceptible are large and if we don’t take care and we allow this to happen, we may put these large populations at risk. So I don’t think we should do that and the people who have this mindset don’t have to hold on to this, they have to ignore this and make sure they put their masks on and behave very well”.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana