Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia says the gathering and availability of data will play a significant role in Ghana’s battle against COVID-19 pandemic.
He said identifying suspected cases, testing and tracing contacts of confirmed cases and treating them had become the most effective tool for tackling the virus around the world.
Launching the GH COVID-19 Tracker (an app to track COVID-19 cases in Ghana) in Accra, on Monday, the Vice President, also the Chairman of Ghana’s COVID-19 Daily Monitoring Team, said the Government’s reliance on data of cases had become its biggest weapon in the fight against the virus.
Others include the vigorous preventive campaigns, the closure of the ports of entry, ban on public gatherings and the partial lockdown in some parts of the country.
The nation, he said, had tested nearly 40,000 samples so far, and was thus ranked among the top 20 countries in the world as far as per capita testing of COVID-19 was concerned.
“Data is our most powerful weapon in the fight against Covid-19. You cannot fight what you cannot see,” said Dr. Bawumia.
The Government has resorted to a scientific way of curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by relying on data from various sources to identify suspected individuals for a quick response.
Dr. Bawumia said the app would significantly boost the government’s main strategy in combating the virus, which he labeled as “the three T” strategy of Testing, Tracing contacts and Treatment of patients.
“Our focus has been on tracing, testing, treatment, as well as observing social distancing and these have been made possible through data, and this COVID-19 Tracker will significantly help.”
With the launch of the GH COVID-19 tracker app, Ghana’s COVID-19 team has a mobile app with rapid response features for contact tracing and symptoms tracking, which will ultimately lead to more testing.
“The launching of the GH COVID-19 Tracker App today is yet another step by the government to leapfrog technology in finding solutions to the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking around the world.”
“This is another weapon in our arsenal. It will provide us real time data and allow a quick, early response by our professionals,” Dr. Bawumia said.
The COVID-19 Tracker App, through the common platform of mobile networks, is able to trace contacts of persons infected by the virus, show where they have been in the recent time, through various telephone related data, and link such people to health professionals for urgent action to be taken.
The app, also through telephone related data, is also able to report contacts which are, or have recently been to COVID-19 hit countries, as well as track whether individuals required to self-quarantine, are doing so.
Countries such as China, South Korea and the United States are using this concept of crowd sourcing from phone data to manage and track persons affected by the pandemic and offer health care.
The Vice President, therefore, urged Ghanaians to download the App from: www.ghcovid19.com or use the *769#, especially those without smartphones.