The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it is uncomfortable with the alarming manner in which some media outlets reported Thursday’s suspected case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
Reports that doctors at the nation’s premier hospital were in a state of fear and panic, it said, only put the country in a bad state and undermined the national efforts at preventing an outbreak and preventing its spread.
Dr Franklin Asiedu- Bekoe, Head of Disease Survillance Department at the GHS, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, in Accra, on Friday that the Service would investigate to find out who was behind such sensational reports.
“The KBTH has so far recorded two incidents of suspected cases of COVID-19, both of which have come to the attention of the public in an alarming manner,” he noted.
“We need to engage them to be able to understand them because even in smaller hospitals, when suspected cases are detected, it is handed without the knowledge of the public”.
So far, Ghana has tested 46 suspected cases and they have all proven negative.
The recent one involved a United States based Ghanaian woman who arrived in the country, six days ago, and had reported to the Maternity Block of the KBTH for a scheduled gynaecological medical procedure.
Commenting on the reported allegation that the emegerncy line dedicated to reporting cases of the virus was unresponsive, Dr Asiedu- Bekoe explained that was not the routine, therefore, it would be unprofessional for any doctor to call an emergency line to report a case.
“The protocol is to isolate a suspected case , take samples and present it for testing and not to run away,” he stated.
“When a doctor identifies a case of COVID-19 is his line of work, his role is to treat the patient and to a follow up but not to run away”.
According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO), COVID-19 belongs to the family of Coronaviruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MARS)Symptoms of Coronavirus include; fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing which could be fatal.
The disease is spread through coughing and sneezing; close personal unprotected risk by touching or contact with infected person).
At present, various treatment options are being explored.
Treatment is mainly symptomatic, there is no vaccine and prevention is mainly by adherence to cough and sneezing etiquette and improved personal hygiene.