The Upper East Region has recently recorded 21 active cases of COVID-19, which makes it the second Region with the highest number of reported cases after Greater Accra which has 203 cases.
According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) COVID-19 update as at October 9, 2020, Ahafo, Eastern and Western Regions rank third with 15 recorded cases, while Volta Region is fourth with 10 cases.
Western North and Oti Regions recorded eight and seven cases respectively, both Bono East and Central Regions also recorded six, and Ashanti Region has two active cases.
However, the Bono, North East, Savannah, Northern and Upper West Regions have no active cases of the virus.
A close source at the Upper East Regional hospital in Bolgatanga, disclosed to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that two victims of the virus were on admission at the hospital, which is the Region’s treatment centre.
The source said out of the two, test results of one came out negative, “We want to do the second test to confirm, but for now we have two cases in the centre,” the source added.
Several weeks before the Region recorded the new cases, Dr Samuel Aborah, the Acting Medical Director of the hospital said in an interview that “I will advise the public that the virus is still with us though we have discharged all COVID-19 related cases and have not yet recorded any for now.
“We should not use that as a base not to observe the safety protocols of COVID-19. You may think that the virus is not with us but it is, and it is worrying,” he said.
The GNA observed that most residents in the Region had relaxed on the GHS protocols, especially the use of face masks, some residents in the Bolgatanga Municipality who spoke to the GNA, expressed concern about the decline in the use of face masks in the Region.
Ms Linda Awinbire, a resident in the Bolgatanga Municipality said the publicity on COVID-19 had reduced, “We have even assumed that there is no Coronavirus, people no longer wear face masks as they used to.
“If the publicity increases as it was initially, we will be cautious and have in mind that the virus is still with us, but as it stands, it appears people are relaxed,” Ms Awinbire added.
She said “It is scary that the Region has recorded these numbers of cases. We just need to be extra careful and continuously adhere to the COVID-19 protocols. The political activities in the country seem to draw attention of most people from the virus and it is sad.”
Ms Sakina Alhassan, a Business woman in the Municipality also said “It appears most people are not taking the existence of the virus seriously. When it first came, people were careful, they took the wearing of face masks seriously, but now, some people even believe that Coronavirus is gone.”
Another resident, Mr Patrick Alangdi expressed worry that a developing Region like the Upper East would record 21 cases at a time when the country was generally recording low figures of COVID-19.
He appealed to stakeholders in the Region, especially Public Health officials to intensify campaigns and publicity on the disease as they did in the early days of the virus.
Meanwhile at another part of the Bolgatanga Township, some people described the growing anxiety among the populace in relation to the new infection of COVID-19 cases as mere wickedness and intentional plans to infect more people with the disease.
This stems from the death of a prominent person in the society, who was suspected to have died of the Coronavirus infection and whose family, having been exposed to the virus, returned from the hospital without quarantining themselves and went ahead to receive sympathizers.
Some close associates of the widow of the deceased who went to commensurate with the family, blamed her for exposing people to the disease.
“We were in the house to pray with the wife, but I had my nose masks on and used my sanitizer and the wife of the deceased and child wore nose masks too, but people later started whispering that the man died of COVID-19.
Some have also blamed the Hospital COVID- 19 team who allowed the family to return to Bolgatanga without quarantining them”, the widow’s co-Church member who pleaded anonymity said.