Covid-19: Profile of virus in Ghana has changed – Dr Titus Beyuo
Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Titus Beyuo says the disease profile of Covid-19 in the country is changing.
“We are getting to the phase where the disease is reaching to virtually every part of our society,” he said speaking on the Super Morning Show, Thursday.
He added, “A lot more people who are coming in are having symptoms and that is not surprising because in the initial stage most of our testing was for people in enhanced surveillance”
The practice of enhanced surveillance has gradually reduced and routine surveillance is instead being adopted.
“What that means is that people who think that they have symptoms, people who think they have had contact, who think they have been exposed [to someone with the virus] are coming in to test. Therefore, we are getting more people coming in with symptoms.”
As Covid-19 cases in Ghana continue to rise, concerns are piling up over the increase in symptomatic cases and whether healthcare facilities can accommodate and take care of them.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Thursday said that space for patients with Covid-19, in terms of beds, treatment and isolation centres are capable of accommodating them.
However, Dr Beyuo revealed that due to increasing numbers of symptomatic cases reporting to hospitals, pressure on isolation centres is on the low while pressure on treatment centres is growing.
“What we are indeed seeing is there is pressure on the treatment centres but isolation centres no. There is pressure on the treatment centres. Moreso in the ICUs,” he said.
The General Secretary who is also a member of the GMA’s Infectious Disease Committee explained that the availability of beds could be a potential problem, especially for patients who will require intensive care.
“When you go into a treatment centre you have beds for patients who are sick and we have beds for people who need ICU care. In the healthcare system we have a bed turnover and so if somebody reports to you that it was full and this morning it’s not full, both of them could be telling the truth because at the time of the report it might have been full.”
“Now, someone could’ve died, someone might have been discharged and therefore there would be beds. So we shouldn’t discount [the Director General’s] report.”
“However, it should be a concern that the treatment centres are getting full and the ICUs in particular from what we have taken up, bed availability in these ICUs designated for Covid-19 is becoming a challenge.”
The country’s confirmed coronavirus cases currently stands at 10,358.