Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Adviser on Health at the Presidency, says the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine into the country would be based on its effectiveness, access, affordability, availability and deployment.

He recalled that Ghana recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020 and since then the disease had continued to spread with the country currently having an established community transmission.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in all regions of the country with the Greater Accra Region as the epicentre of the outbreak in Ghana, recording the highest numbers and severity of the disease.

“As at 16th January 2021, the country had recorded a total of 58,431 positive cases, with 55,899 of these having recovered and discharged, with 2,174 active cases with 134 in severe and critical conditions,” Dr Nsiah-Asare stated in his presentation at the ongoing 72nd Annual New Year School and Conference on the theme: “Building Ghana in the Face of Global Health Crises.”

“Sadly over the period, we have lost 358 Ghanaians,” he said.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said over the last three weeks, there had been a surge in the number of active cases, with an average daily rate of about 200 new cases.

He noted that aside from those with a history of recent travels, most had contracted the virus whilst attending funerals, parties, without wearing the mandatory facemask.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said Ghana was presently embarking on a strategic, controlled, progressive, safe easing of restrictions on Public gatherings to get the lives of the people and the economy back to normal.

He expressed concerned that in recent times, relatively younger patients were succumbing to the disease with a sudden surge in new cases.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said Government was managing the situation and had just directed schools to reopen was also considering the re-opening of land and sea borders to human traffic.

He said Government was initiating agenda 111 programme for the construction of 101 District Hospitals, seven regional hospitals in the six new regions and Western regions, two psychiatric hospitals in Kumasi and Tamale and renovating and equipping of Effia Nkwanta Hospital.

The School is being organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana.

The Annual New Year School and Conference since its inception in 1948, has been the flagship programme of the University, which always opens at the beginning of the New Year.

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