Ghana tops COVID-19 testing in Africa

Accra, April 20, GNA – Ghana has since its first two recorded cases of COVID-19 infections, traced a total of 86,000 contacts, out of which the test results of 68,591 had been received.

Out of the number 1,042 persons, representing 1.5 per cent have been confirmed positive, with 67,549 (89.5 per cent), testing negative, and 99 persons have so far recovered and discharged.

There is, however, a backlog of about 18,000 persons whose test results are yet to be received.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave the statistics in his seventh COVID-19 Presidential address on the country’s interventions against the fight of the pandemic.

He said Ghana was the only other country in Africa to have conducted more than 60,000 tests, and “we are ranked number one in Africa in administering of tests per million people”.

The overwhelming majority of those contacts, he explained, had been established in the last three weeks of the partial lockdown in Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi.

President Akufo-Addo further indicated that 930 persons who had been isolated were responding to treatment either in their homes or in treatment facilities, and they would later undergo the mandatory two tests to determine if they had also recovered from the virus or otherwise.

He attributed the increase in the number of positive cases over the last three weeks to health authorities’ aggressive tracing and testing of all contacts of infected persons.

That, he said, had enabled the authorities to identify and isolate infected persons, protect the population from further infections, and contain the spread of the virus.

The President stated that the decision by the Government to impose restrictions on movement was backed by data at hand, and that its next course of action, again, was backed by the statistics available as well as science.

“Indeed all that the Government is doing is intended to achieve five key objectives – limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the entire population for their immense support and patience despite the hardships during the three-week partial lockdown of some hotspots of the country.

He, however, urged the public not to be complacent about the country’s efforts and achievements so far in containing the community spread saying the numbers of confirmed cases would still go up due to the effective contact tracing.

The President encouraged the public to continue to adhere to all the safety and hygiene protocols, especially maintaining social distancing of at least two meters, regular handwashing with soap under running water, or use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, having good nutrition, exercising and avoiding stress.

He said the country’s success to defeat the virus depended on the responsible actions people would take to save themselves and others.