Covid-19: Delta strain 200 times more lethal than Wuhan strain – Pharmacist

Pharmacist and Fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, has urged Ghanaians to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols in the country religiously.

With the country teetering near the edge of a third wave of the pandemic, he said it Is now more urgent than before, to adhere to the protocols.

His concern is further heightened by the advent of the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus, which he describes as 200 times more lethal than the Wuhan strain that began spreading in the country in March 2020.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, he said, “When it first came into the country in March of 2020 we had predominantly the Wuhan strain and the strain from Europe.

“That had the reproductive number from anywhere between 2.4 and 3. So then we had our peak like we said, and then it started dropping.

“And then we had a bit of bulk in October, but it looks like the protocols kicked in again and it didn’t give us another wave.

“Then, in December, we had another surge which gave us a bulk of all our mortalities since Covid came to Ghana. That was driven by the alpha strain that had a reproductive number of 4 to 5.

“Now we are seeing the delta variant driving globally and now it’s beginning to show up in Ghana, the latest wave. That has a reproductive number of 5 to 8. To put it in context, that is 200 times more lethal than the one we got in March by way of contagion.”

According to him, recent breaches of the Covid-19 protocols by citizens and political leaders, particularly the President, Akufo-Addo, undermines the country’s fight to eradicate the Covid-19 virus and return to normal.

“So when I see the President addressing Eid, where he’s saying we’ve dropped that guard and I look at the crowd albeit lots of them, were masked, bunched up that way, I look at that and ask myself, ‘how is the risk communication flowing out? And what are these people supposed to take from the communication we are giving them?’

“Because for all intents and purposes, if they continue to bunch up that way with a pathogen that has a reproductive number between 5 and 8 there would be significant spread,” he said.

He bemoaned that should the Covid-19 protocols continue to be breached as its the case now, the country’s health system would be unable to deal with the deluge of cases in the country.

“In an unvaccinated population when this virus gets in there, it runs amok so, therefore, when you have a country like Ghana which has just 1.2% vaccinated and almost 98% unvaccinated, you can imagine if we go down this route, the riot that this virus is going to ramp.”

“So what I want people to understand and how I want the citizens to process this is, you are dealing with an entirely different ball game. Entirely different from the ball game you played in March and the ball game you played in December.

“If you want to see the ball game you’re dealing with, look at what happened in India between April and June and look at what’s happening in the UK now where though vaccinations are so high a lot of new cases are being recorded,” he advised.




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