The Medical Director of the Tema General Hospital has asked Ghanaians to understand that every person they meet is a potential carrier of the coronavirus" so stick strictly to the COVID-19 protocols".
Dr. Richard Antony says, "Practice handwashing with soap under running water, using a hand sanitiser and wearing of nose masks, since the number of active cases continues to rise. The numbers you hear are us. People you know."
Dr. Antony made this observation when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) interviewed him over the weekend at the Tema General Hospital on how his outfit was preparing for the reopening of schools in the Tema Metropolis.
Expressing worry about how the population had relaxed their vigilance, Dr. Antony informed that, “As we go to the market, as we go to the parties and weddings, we shouldn’t assume the people we meet don’t have the virus simply because they are walking fine and not showing any symptoms.”
He, therefore, entreated everyone not to interpret the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions by the Ghana Government to mean the virus no longer existed, stating, however, that new infections coming in were more serious than previous infections.
Dr. Antony also admonished staff of the Tema General Hospital and the General Public to take personal responsibility in ensuring their safety and that of their families.
“Almost every Ghanaian knows there is COVID-19, and almost every Ghanaian knows what to do to reduce their chances of contracting the virus; it does not take someone with the whip to get us to do what is right for our own safety,” he added.
The Medical Director, therefore, insisted that, other than the Police, individuals citizens of Ghana must pick up the responsibility of ensuring that others complied with the safety protocols since that would show how determined Ghanaians were at fighting the pandemic.
Dr. Antony said the almost 1,500 new cases recorded within four weeks should be attributed to the non-compliance of the Covid-19 protocols before, during and after the 2020 General Elections.
With students going back to school, he called on teachers to ensure strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols to prevent overwhelming numbers and pressure on infectious disease centres and ICUs.
On Contact Tracing, Doctor Antony said the Ghana Health Service (GHS), through her regional and district directors, had an active surveillance system to map out suspected Covid-19 patients after concerns were raised that the contact tracing had stopped.
He said Contact Tracing at the Tema General Hospital was done within the facility because patients admitted to other wards within the facility may also have the virus, a situation which had called for strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols at every area of the facility and not only the infection treatment Centre.
The Medical Director advised the public to avoid the panic rush to health facilities for voluntary tests, which would put a strain on the limited viral transport medium (VTM) and swab kits used for Covid-19 tests.
“The radiant will get finished when we encourage mass testing and when you really need it, the logistics won’t be there,” he observed.
Instead, he asked the public to visit the nearest health facility to test for COVID-19 when they show symptoms.