44,000 additional samples to be tested for COVID-19 – Ghana Health Service

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said 44,421 more samples taken through contact tracing will be tested for COVID-19.

The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Aboagye who disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 further indicated that government’s aggressive contact tracing initiative has improved the country’s testing capacity.

“In Ghana, as at Saturday, April 11,  a total of 37,954 cases have been tested out of which 566 have been confirmed for COVID-19. Out of the 566, about 58% are male and usually youthful. Female are 42%. Currently, we have about 44,421 samples we have taken. 7,000 [out of the 44,421] are being tested and some are still running. Aggressive tracing, tracking and testing have been the strategies adopted to contain the virus.”

Enhanced tracing cause of spike in cases

Government embarked on an enhanced tracing and testing exercise in a bid to detect hidden COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Monday, 13 April, 2020 indicated that the increase in the confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in Ghana was due to enhanced tracing and testing efforts by the government.

Mr. Nkrumah pointed out that other measures such as the mandatory quarantine systems have helped to detect hidden COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Minister pointed out that these cases would have gone undetected if these “enhanced” measures had not been introduced.

“It is interesting to note that if we hadn’t as a country stepped up our approach to be ahead and go after the virus we would be reporting only 292 cases by now. The mix of measures to aggressively go in search of it while limiting importation is the reason for which we have found 274 more cases.”

“The enhanced tracing and testing coupled with the mandatory quarantine systems are yielding results. Had we not adopted this approach, the 274 extra will be with us potentially continuously spreading the virus. We encourage all persons to comply with the measures and spread more knowledge and facts to help us all,” the Minister tweeted.

COVID-19 case count in Ghana 

A total of 566 novel coronavirus cases have so far been recorded in Ghana with eight deaths.

The Greater Accra Region has the most cases with 452; the Ashanti Region, 49; Eastern Region, 32; Northern Region, 10; Volta Region, nine; Upper West Region, seven; Upper East Region, four; North East Region, one; Western Region, one and the Central Region with one.

According to GHS, seventeen infected persons have recovered from the novel coronavirus in Ghana.

83 people are in recovery status with 66 people in treatment already having tested negative for the virus once.

Two hundred and eight of the infected persons are well and in mild condition with two who remain critically ill.

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