The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the number of people who have not been wearing face masks as a preventive measure in the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has increased.
According to the GHS, the figure has increased to 82 percent in the last one month.
The Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye made this known at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday morning [November 25, 2020].
He said in six major markets across the Greater Accra Region, over 90 percent of people do not wear face masks.
"The increasing cases early in October [was] because the protocol of application of masks was quite reduced. In terms of all the protocols, work place issues were challenging and so we have actually had to intervene to ensure things are done."
"We've done some survey last week [and] just a marginal increase, those who are not wearing is still very high about 82 percent of people are still not wearing masks, 7 percent are wearing, the rest 11 percent are wearing but not wearing them accurately. And so that is a far cry from the 44 percent that we had a couple of months ago."
In terms of category of people who are not wearing masks, Dr Kuma Aboagye said head porters who were "doing very well in the last survey a few months ago, now 96 percent of our head porters are not wearing masks."
For buyers, "only 66 percent are not wearing masks", this, he said was an improvement over the last survey's figure which showed that sellers were doing better than buyers.
He said they were currently doing another study to look at work place arrangements to see if there has been some improvements because a lot of outbreaks in the last month has come from work places.
He said a lot of interventions have taken place with the deployment of 25 vehicles to assist in contract tracing, with 15 in Greater Accra and the rest going to other regions.
Additional testing centres are also being opened, one at Ridge. He said the Ga East testing centre should be ready in a few days time.
"We've also started some assessment of infirmaries in the school health system in anticipation of the reopening of schools in January 2021. That is something ongoing, as we prepare, how do we educate the children, how do we educate the primary school, how do we educate kindergartens on how to wear masks and how to adhere to protocols. These are all areas that we are looking at to ensure that we get ready before school reopens."
Currently the last one we are doing is we are conducting some lab quality assurance exercise to ensure that, we now have about 23 labs, we want to ensure that the standards are maintained and that, if they say you are negative, you are negative and if the lab say you are positive, you are positive.
Currently, Ghana has recorded a total of 51,225 cases since the outbreak of the disease in the country in March 2020.
A total of 50,127 have since been discharged.
The total number of active cases is now 775 with 323 deaths
The total number of tests is 583,545 as of now. The test per a million population is 19,451/million