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COVID-19: Ghana closes in on 15 testing centres as Nigeria battles with 5

Ghana’s Presidential Adviser on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare has announced that the Government is working towards having at least 15 centres across the country to test everyone who has come into contact with a COVID-19 patient.

This is as the Nigerian Government currently has about five which experts had described as grossly inadequate.

Dr Asare noted that the targeted new centres would have a combined capacity of testing 200,000 samples.

Business Hilights Ghana Bureau chief reports that at present, tests are conducted at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in the Greater Accra Region and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in the Ashanti Region

Addressing a sensitisation programme on COVID-19 for senior journalists, in Accra, under the auspices of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dr Nsiah Asare said some ACR machines in some of the health facilities would be calibrated for testing the virus.

Presidential Adviser on Health warned that people should also not go to the quarantine facilities to pick their relatives home, he said, explaining that it was safer to keep one person suspected to be exposed to virus in isolation for the mandatory 14 days than to bring that person home to likely spread it to an entire family or beyond.

A total of about 100,000 people, he said, had been targeted for testing to be able to isolate and treat those exposed to the respiratory virus to prevent them from spreading it.

“In our efforts to contain the disease, we have to learn the experience of South Korea and Japan and one of them is to test, test, and test the people who are sick and as the President said, we are expecting 50,000 test kits in the meantime to test everybody, who has been exposed to a patient.”

“So far, we have identified more than 500 people through our contact tracing and we are still searching so that when we test anyone who is positive, we can isolate them and when they opt for self-quarantine, we will teach them what to do,” he said.

Dr Nsiah Asare said all major health facilities were being made to designate isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients, while adequate Personal Protective Equipment were being procured for all frontline workers, including health and security officers.

Ghana has so far recorded 27 cases with two deaths.