The Ghana Health Service says although some recovered or discharged novel coronavirus patients may continue to have remnants of the deadly virus in their system, such persons are not a threat to others.
Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie who said this explained that after 10 days of contracting the virus, the person may have fragments which will make it appear as though he can spread the virus “but clearly the virus is dead.”
Explaining the recent exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 recovery cases in Ghana on TV3 News360 Saturday, Dr Badu Sarkodie said studies have established that after 10 days of the initial positive test “the virus is no more viable in any human being and cannot be transmitted”.
That, he indicated, the scientific evidence resulted in the WHO issuing a new guideline for the discharge of COVID-19 patients, which Ghana and other countries have now adopted.
Persons infected with the virus who were under treatment were required to record two consecutive negative tests before they were discharged even when they showed mild or no symptoms after 10 to 14 days.
“Initially the assumption was that if you test positive, potentially you can share [the virus] to others and based on the various few cases that have come, the observations that have been done, that was the initial guidelines,” he said.
Dr Badu Sarkodie, however, said with the new scientific evidence and WHO guideline; infected persons are now to be discharged if they showed mild or no symptoms 14 days after their first negative.
“Here in Ghana, …we are also following signs and trying to find out for how many days does it take for the person to be one negative or double and exactly by day 14, all the people that earlier we had confirmed positive, all of them had reverted negative,” he revealed.
Commenting on the 15 COVID-19 deaths announced by health officials Saturday, Dr Badu Sarkodie said those are not new deaths as some have suggested.
“These are not new deaths,” he stated, suggesting they have been recorded few days ago.
“What happened was that for the past few days when we were about to make this revision on discharge policy, we sent a team of clinical providers…to go round the whole country and come out with what they observe with regards to our case management. As they were reviewing the cases, you may end up being discharged or unfortunately, a few of them may end up dying out of the disease,” he said.
Ghana’s confirmed cases stand at 13,717 with 85 deaths and 10,074 recoveries while the number of active cases is now 3,558.