Covid-19: Working On Speeding Up Testing – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has attributed the long delay in testing samples of suspected COVID-19 cases to logistical constraints.

Over the past few days, persons who have had their samples taken have agitated over the delay in the release of test results.

Speaking at the Information Minister’s press briefing on Thursday, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said preparations are underway to salvage the situation.

“We have experienced some delays in the lab. That is because we have a few logistical challenges. The laboratory requires for PCR, reagents, test kits and all manner of things. There is a global scramble for them so even sometimes when you have money, you aren’t able to get one, but we know by the end of this weekend, we are having a consignment arriving and hopefully, next week, we’ll start wrapping up the tests and reduce the delay.”

“But our idea is that if there’s a cause to take your sample, you are supposed to isolate yourself. If there is any reason to take your sample, it means that you are potentially positive, so until you get your results, please try as much as possible to self-isolate,” he cautioned.

At the same briefing, the GHS said it has embarked on an expansion of COVID-19 treatment centres across the country.

This, according to Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, is to make available more beds and logistics for COVID-19 case management.

He listed some facilities which have the capacity for COVID-19 cases.

“For the isolation centres in Greater Accra, we have Pentecost Convention Centre and Prampram. Pentecost has a capacity of 600. Currently, we have 207 cases there and so we have space for about 393 people. Prampram Isolation Centre has nobody there now. It is today that we’ll be moving people there so the 160 beds are still empty as far as isolation spaces are concerned. Ga East has a capacity of 85 beds,” he said.

“Currently, we have 30 patients there so we have space for 55 more cases should they come up. The military hospital, which is the Debrah Ward has 34 which is empty. Police Hospital has 12 beds. Currently, they have only two empty spaces. Ridge hospital is full. The UGMC has 36 beds with 31 full so we have space for 5. We are hoping that there’ll be few more discharges at UGMC so that more space can be created there.”

Dr. Kuma-Abaogye also listed the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions as COVID-19 hotspots.

“Accra with 10,292 positive cases contributing about 52% of all the cases in the country. Ashanti is contributing 20.6% in total confirmed cases. Western Region has 8.4% and the other regions take up less than 1000; a total of about 15.7%. So the two main hotspots are Ashanti and Greater Accra and greater efforts would have to be put in there and we are hoping our traditional rulers will participate in ensuring that people follow the protocols to curtail the spread of the virus. If you look at Greater Accra, you can see where the greatest challenge really is; Ayawaso East and North, Accra Metro, and Weija.”

As of Thursday, July 2, 2020, Ghana had recorded 496 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the national tally to 18,630.

The country has also recorded 14,046 clinical recoveries. 117 persons have succumbed to the disease. Ghana currently has 4,467 active cases.



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