We are not overburdened by COVID-19 cases, DG of Health Service assures Ghanaians

The director general of the Ghana Health Service, Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, says Ghana’s health-care system is not overburdened by COVID-19

The director general of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, says that Ghana’s health-care system is not overburdened by COVID-19 cases as some people in the country claim.

Speaking at the Sunday 19 July 2020 press briefing by the Minister of Information in Accra, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said a large number of active cases in Ghana, involving 3,372 patients, are asymptomatic and are recovering at home.

He added that the number of patients in isolation and those being treated are very few, compared to the available isolation and treatment centres in the country. This means that the health system cannot be said to be overburdened.

“We have 299 active cases in treatment centres and, looking at the burden that we have, [with] over 700 beds for treatment, one cannot say the system is choked. Isolation cases are 387.

“PCR [the country’s polymerase chain reaction testing facilities] alone has capacity for 600, so obviously we are not overburdened. For me, this is where we must focus our attention,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye said.

Testing in labs

William Kwabena Ampofo, co-ordinator of Ghana’s COVID-19 testing programme and head of the virology department at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, noted in his submission that Ghana’s testing regime had suffered a setback.

This was caused by a shortage of testing kits, Ampofo said. However, the problem has been rectified and testing is proceeding smoothly at all testing centres across the country.

“As we did announce last week that supplies were en route, they have actually arrived and the supplies have been distributed to the labs and the labs have begun testing,” Dr Ampofo said.

No need for recklessness

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, observed that Ghana’s active case count and disease burden are within the capacity of the nation’s health service.

However, it is extremely important that citizens do not lose sight of the need to continue to observe all the necessary protocols in order to guarantee a reduction in the country’s case count, the minister said.

He urged Ghanaians not to lose guard in any respect with the safety protocols.

“We caution the general public not to use the improving recovery numbers and the declining active case numbers as a reason to be reckless,” Oppong Nkrumah said.

Wilberforce Asare

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