The Ghana Health Service has disclosed that over 1,000 COVID-19 suspected cases have been tested so far and all have come out as negative.
According to Dr Patrick Aboagye, Director-General of the Service, more people have tested negative in Ghana for the infection which has currently affected more than 601,518 globally and 137 in Ghana.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday over fears of community spread in the wake of the recently confirmed case in Upper West Regional capital, Wa, Dr Aboagye indicated that currently, the number of horizontal cases do not number up to 4 which makes the fear of community spread minimal.
“Generally, the initial phases were all important and that is why we started screening at the ports. Doing the risk assessment and following them up. We realized that that was not enough because people were not as disciplined as they were expected to do in self-isolation and protect their loved ones around them so we had to step it up. Cases that were found were followed up, they were self-isolating, we followed them up twice a day.
“Fortunately, I think just about one tested positive eventually from all those cases but then you go around and see people might have slipped into some of these communities so we keep on observing to see if anyone has it but despite all this, we cannot even count more than 4 people that we can say they have community spread, even the recent person is also someone who just arrived from the UK eight days ago, before the quarantine.
“Apart from that, there were other district-level measures, surveillance, identification, we are only hearing that we have 137 cases, but we’ve tested over 1000s of people who were negative because, with the least suspicion, we test you,” he tested.
The World Health Organization has advised countries around the world to as much as possible, test as many people as they can.
Some experts in the country have also suggested that until we test people in the masses, the accurate number of infected persons in Ghana will not be exposed.
Speaking on these concerns, Dr Patrick Aboagye explained that the health service is currently testing more people but only persons who fit the case definition of COVID-19 patients.
He added that going forward, more people from communities where cases have been recorded will be tested to diagnose the numbers in order to control the spread of the pandemic.
“Currently, we are testing based on the case definition, whether you have symptoms, but part of this measures now is to test as many contacts as possible and eventually, we need to now do more community surveillance testing, but there has to be a reason to test especially the hotspots, where you feel that you are receiving too many cases, you can decide to test many people and we can be able to see what is going on,” he noted.
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