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General News Thu, 2 Jul 2020

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Coronavirus eats US$17m for testing

Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, is calling on all actors in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic to harness their synergies towards defeating the virus as more money goes into testing.

The Deputy Minister said over 290,000 tests worth $17 million have been conducted throughout the country, indicating that it cost $60 to perform a single test.

“By these statistics, Ghana is testing 9,000 in every one million population far ahead of Nigeria’s 521 to a million, and Egypt’s 3,000 to a million.”

He said the country was on a good pathway to containing the pandemic and there was no time for complacency.

Dr Okoe-Boye made the call when he paid a familiarisation visit to the Volta region to assess the efforts of combating the COVID-19 by major actors.

He said all interventions by the government were based on experts’ advice and were far from copy and paste scenarios from global regulatory bodies.

He said Ghana was recording low COVID-19 related deaths with a mortality rate of 0.6 per cent compared to 14 per cent in the case of Italy adding “While developed nations revel on solid infrastructure to contain the fight, Ghana is ahead with strategies.’’

On contact tracing mechanisms, Dr Okoe-Boye said it was no longer prudent to continue engaging volunteers as staff of the GHS has taken over that schedule.

The Deputy Minister said mass testing was not a panacea to fighting the virus as scientists and researchers have proven that the virus was slippery and tricky in nature.

Giving an overview of case management, Deputy Volta Regional Director of Ghana Health Service Dr Senanu Dzokoto, said the region had only 28 active COVID-19 cases with cumulative case count increasing to 346 cases.

He said the region recorded 212 recoveries with six deaths who had critical underlying conditions.

Dr Dzokoto said collaboration among stakeholders had facilitated the testing of 10,000 suspected cases in Oti and the Volta regions to date.

Dr Dzokoto disclosed that the Ministry of Health had presented a ‘safety cabinet,’ which is a box designed to protect objects or samples being screened, to the UHAS testing centre to increase their ability to test cases without fear, spills or accidents.

He commended the media for their immense contribution in the fight against COVID-19 and urged them to continue to lend their unalloyed support towards awareness about the virus.

He pleaded with the media houses to verify or double cross-check their reports when in doubt to avoid creating doubts or misreporting on issues.

Source: Daily Guide Network

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