COVID-19: GHS recommends rapid tests at all entry points

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has recommended the introduction of rapid diagnostic tests at all points of entry as the COVID-19 cases surge.

Addressing the media at the end of its two-day high-level strategic meeting on COVID-19 at Fumesua in the Ashanti Region, the Director-General, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said this will help to test trucks and cargos that carry people on arrival.

Speaking on its recommendations to tackle the third wave of the COVID-19, he said they will increase surveillance and screening at the seaports and land beaches.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said they will also ensure monitoring of the situation at the Kotoka International Airport and institute appropriate measures to contain the importation of the virus.

He said the GHS will scale up its testing capacity while antigen testing will be used as part of their rapid response in locations where there are outbreaks such as schools, workplaces and points of entry.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the contact tracing, quarantine and isolation will also be strengthened.

Speaking on challenges faced, Dr Kumah-Aboagye said total disregard for safety protocols, limited access to COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, inadequate number of ICU beds, vaccine hesitation and misinformation and oxygen supply in case of a higher surge in cases are some of the challenges.

The number of active COVID-19 cases has shot up to 3,446, the latest figures from the Ghana Health Service indicate.

Some 304 new cases have been confirmed.

The death toll has also risen to 817.

Since mid-March 2020, a total of 99,734 cases have been recorded.

Of that number, 95,451 have recovered.

Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the rising cases shows that “we’ve let our guard down”.

Addressing Muslims at the Eid-ul-Adha celebration at the National Central Mosque at Kanda, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us – unfortunately”.

“This means that for the second year running, we are having to hold a subdued Eid celebration”, he observed.

“As we continue to count on the grace of God to protect our country from the ravages of the pandemic like he has since its outbreak, we can only minimise its health effects and avoid a full-blown third wave if we continue to be responsible and observe the safety and hygiene protocols.”

He noted: “The recent increase in the number of infections is a source of worry for me and, indeed, for all Ghanaians”.

“From the rising numbers, it is safe to conclude that we have let our guard down and are beginning to live our lives and conduct our businesses as though we are in normal times”.

“It is important to repeat that the virus is still with us and until each one of us receives a dose of the vaccine, the protocols must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily activities,” he added.


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