COVID-19 testing not abandoned — Ghana Health Service

Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has said that testing for COVID-19 has not stopped in the country, contrary to claims in certain circles.

He said testing was still going on at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), among other centres.

At a press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information to update the public on the country’s COVID-19 case management situation in Accra yesterday, Dr Kuma-Aboagye admitted, however, that the capacity for testing had reduced at the facilities, especially at the NMIMR, and that it had affected real time release of results.

The slump in capacity, he said, related to shortage of some supplies.

Disclosure of names

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said there was no need making public the names of government officials who had contracted the virus, insisting that it was ethically wrong to put out such names.

At a press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information to update the public on the country’s COVID-19 case management situation in Accra yesterday, Dr Kuma-Aboagye admitted, however, that the capacity for testing had reduced at the facilities, especially at the NMIMR, and that it had affected real time release of results.

The slump in capacity, he said, related to shortage of some supplies.

“As I mentioned, I cannot really ethically tell you all these numbers and mention names and their status. It cannot be done. I’m sure there are media men who have also been exposed and we don’t have their numbers and names (in the public domain), but those who came out and did that voluntarily is what we encourage. We are not going to be able to mention anybody’s name, and there is no need,” he said.

Testing centres

The government, he said, had embarked on the expansion of COVID-19 treatment centres across the country.

The move, he explained, would lead to the availability of more beds and logistics for the management of cases.

“For the isolation centres in Greater Accra, we have Pentecost and Prampram. Pentecost has the capacity for 600 people, but currently we have 207, and so we have space for about 393 more.

“The Prampram Isolation Centre has nobody there now. It is today that we are going to put people at Prampram; the 160 beds are still empty as far as isolation spaces are concerned.

“The one in Ga East has capacity for 85 beds; however, we have 30 patients there. We have space for 55 people if they come up,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, the 37 Military Hospital had 34 empty beds, while the Police Hospital Isolation Centre had 12 beds, with 10 patients currently on admission there.

“The Ridge Hospital has four, but all are full; the University of Ghana Medical Centre has 36, with 31 patients, so we have space for five. We hope that more spaces can be created there,” he added.

Case count

Touching on the national case count, the GHS Director General said 496 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 18,630.

“Ghana has recorded 18,630 cases, with 14,046 recoveries. Currently, we have 117 reported deaths, accounting for 0.63 per cent (of the overall infections). Currently, we have 4,467 active cases. These people are being managed at the treatment sites, isolation centres and under home management, depending on the situation,” he said.

 “Currently, we have 22 severe cases, eight are critical and six on ventilators,” he added.

At least 10,296 of the cases are in the Greater Accra Region.

Source: https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/health/covid-19-testing-not-abandoned-ghana-health-service.html

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