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Why 23,000 COVID-19 Samples Backlog Will Not Be Tested

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says there is a backlog of 23,000 COVID-19 samples yet to be tested, as testing centres across the country shut down because of inadequate testing kits.

The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye,  who announced the figures told the media on Tuesday that the backlog samples would not be the major focus, especially samples that are over two weeks old.

Some of the samples date as far back as June 22.

However, to address the backlog, focus and priority in testing would be given to symptomatic patients, contacts of confirmed cases, exposed health workers, students, and returnees.

“A sample that is released two weeks after the sample is taken has very little public health relevance.

The most important information is that all suspected cases whether you have your test positive or not are managed as if you’re COVID. Even for those who are [not] sick, we are not taking chances. We are treating them as COVID. That is why in our treatment centres, we have suspected cases who are in a different section because we don’t want them contaminated.

“Until your results come, you are treated as COVID until otherwise,” he said.

“We are targeting the high-risk groups. That is why with the least number of testing, we are getting a high number of positives. That is why the positivity rate is up.

“We will also focus on the contacts of positive cases and prioritize their contact,” he said.

The new approach, he said would allow results to trickle in within 48 hours.

He, however, said the backlog of samples would be kept for the match up test when a person is suspected to have died from the disease.

Regional cases

According to the Ghana Health Service, all the 559 new cases recorded were from  36 districts in eight regions.
Currently, the country’s caseload stands at 28,989 with 25,331 recoveries and 153 deaths.  The number of active cases stands at 3.505.

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