Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Friday, said 6,000 samples of contacts of persons confirmed with COVID-19, have so far been taken for laboratory testing.

Dr Aboagye, who was giving a case management update at a media briefing in Accra, said the given figure, was as at Thursday April 02, 2020.

He explained that the total samples collected included; 500 out of the 950 persons who were put under mandatory quarantine.

He said active contact tracing and enhanced testing was on-going in all the hotspot areas in Accra, Kasoa, Tema and Kumasi and also in other parts of the country to ensure effective testing of all contacts to curb the possibility of a community spread of the virus.

The Director General said of the Country’s total number of 204 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 49 were discharged and were being monitored from their homes by health officials.

Again, two more facilities in the Ga East area made up of the Bank of Ghana Hospital and the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), were added to the number of health facilities to provide care for patients due to the large numbers.

Dr Aboagye gave statistics on case management in some health facilities including; the Ga East Hospital, which he said currently had 58 cases on admission, had two new confirmed cases yesterday, three persons on oxygen and were doing well.

He said a total of 38 were discharged for home care, and were followed daily by health officials indicating they were getting better.

The Ridge Regional Hospital on the other hand, he said, had four cases who were awaiting a retesting on their 21st day since they tested positive before they would be discharged.

He said the 37 Military Hospital had one case on admission and also managing six cases from home and had an excellent facility with an ICU for patients who may need such care.

He explained that of Ghana’s total of 49 cases who were discharged and were receiving home care, about 20 were awaiting retesting, and if they were negative, they would be discharged, however two people tested negative thus declared cured, and had already been discharged.

“Kumasi had no new case”, he said because the only case they had qualified for home care and was managed as such, but the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital had one case on admission, who was responding to treatment, while Obuasi also had two cases being managed at home.

He explained that with the Obuasi cases, 12 contacts of the second case were being followed, saying the first case had about 30 contacts who had already been followed.

There was one case in Wa on home care, Tamale had 10 cases who were stable under treatment, with seven of them still being managed from the hotel, with two in the hospitals.

He said one case was managed by the Atua Government Hospital in the Eastern region awaiting further information on their management.

The UGMC, he said had a 14-bed, five Intensive Care Unit, a bus at the disposal of the team and three additional pick up vehicles for the home care healthcare team, all in support of care for COVID-19 patients, he said.
Dr Aboagye said a training programme would begin on Friday for healthcare personnel on how to use the mini ventilators in the new ambulances.

According to him, the only current challenges that was not peculiar to Ghana was the inadequacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for frontline healthcare workers, and urged facility heads to ensure the appropriate use of the items.

He mentioned that the country began the local production of the nose masks, to augment the imported ones, and encouraged all Ghanaians to wear masks if they could, and especially frontline healthcare staff to prevent them from getting infected and transmitting the virus to others.

He indicated that on the fifth day of the aggressive contact tracing exercise in Accra, Kumasi and across the country, making stringent efforts to test all contacts of persons who had tested positive, and also others in the chain, by visiting people in their homes.

He said there were hotspot areas, where they focused attention like it was being done in Wa and Tamale, saying currently the GHS was looking at about 110 in the Eastern region who were being tested and the reports would be shared as an when they come in .

He said they were also looking at those under mandatory quarantine, who though tested negative and sent to various hotels for further review.

Dr Aboagye stated that so far they had completed with seven hotels and did tests for 538 persons in these persons and once the results were ready hopefully within the next few days, they would be discharged.

He said some identity cards were issued to all members of the contact tracing teams, and that psychological support was being offered to those who had tested positive and negative, and urged all persons to continue to abide by the quarantine rues that were shared with them.

He thanked all who had donated to support the GHS to effectively go through this challenging times.

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