The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has called on the public not to mistake the lifting of the coronavirus (COVID-19) mandatory restrictions for an annulment of the safety protocols.
It explained that COVID-19 still lingered and so abandoning the safety protocols and vaccination could result in a retrogression of the strides made so far.
Speaking in an interview in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, explained that not making the wearing of face masks mandatory did not mean the safety protocols were no longer necessary.
He said it only meant that with the strides made so far, people should be able to willingly take responsibility for their health by willingly adhering to the safety protocols and getting
Dr Kuma-Aboagye appealed to the public to continue washing their hands with soap under running water frequently, wear face masks responsibly and adhere to the social distancing principle to avoid catching the virus in the first place.
He emphasised that the wearing of face masks, in addition to vaccination and other safety protocols, would protect dear ones who had not been vaccinated yet or were not eligible, such as people below 15 years.
While appealing to all eligible persons who had not been vaccinated to do so, the GHS D-G reiterated that although the vaccine did not prevent a patron from catching the disease, it protected the individual against the severe form of COVID-19 or death.
“The vaccination is helping so much in the national COVID-19 response, and it is an undeniable fact that vaccination will yield maximum impact if used together with the preventive protocols, such as hand-washing, wearing of face masks and adherence to social distancing,” he emphasised.
He further appealed to the public to continue adhering to the safety protocols because they had complemented vaccination to bring the country this far and said the same was required to either sustain or improve national gains in the COVID-19 fight.
He said apart from boosting the immune system to fight the disease and other health benefits, vaccination was also a way to stop or limit mutations, considered a major challenge in the deployment of vaccines.
Additionally, the D-G of the GHS advised people to be mindful of the risk of post-COVID-19 complications, such as injury to internal organs such as the pancreas, the lungs, the kidneys and brain, medically referred to as long COVID.