Government to conduct nationwide study on COVID-19 exposure

The presidential advisor on health, Dr. Nsiah Asare, says the study will help the government to get a clearer picture of the current trends with regards to coronavirus exposure

Government will soon embark on a study to determine the exposure of Ghanaians to the novel coronavirus pandemic, presidential advisor on health, Dr Nsiah Asare, has announced.

The nationwide study will be conducted in collaboration with the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), and other laboratories across the country.

Dr. Asare revealed this in an interview with host of the Asaase Breakfast Show, Kojo Mensah, following a report suggesting about one million people are already exposed to COVID-19 in the Greater Accra Region.

He said the research conducted by the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) is not conclusive, rejecting media reports that it means one million persons have been infected with the virus in the region.

“The whole problem is that they are scientists, so when a scientist does anything, even when he comes to your house and there are 20 people with malaria parasites, he will tell you that 40 percent of the people have malaria and that does not mean that everybody in the community has malaria parasite,” Dr. Asare explained.

“That is their statistical translation, but I think in COVID, you cannot conclude like that, the study does not tell you the source of infection, so exposure and infections are different,” the former director general of the Ghana Health Service clarified.

No cause for alarm

Dr. Asare said there is no cause for alarm, assuring that the upcoming study will be comprehensive and will give a clearer picture of the current trends with regards to coronavirus exposure in the country.

“We are going to do similar semblance test across the country, we will take different areas and do the test, and this is what we want to do with Noguchi and KCCR and other labs across the country, but not to give a categorical statement that one million people in Accra are infected,” he stated.

The presidential advisor emphasized that contact tracing is still being carried out, adding officials will meet on Tuesday to review and use the outcome to further strategize.

Ghana has so far recorded 48, 200 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 320 deaths, with active cases standing at 620.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

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