Samples collected for COVID-19 test in the Northern Region will no longer be transported to Kumasi or Accra for testing as the Tamale Public Health Reference Laboratory is set to commence testing of COVID-19 samples by Wednesday.
Officials say almost all the equipment necessary for testing are ready adding that the facility has the capacity to test over 200 samples a day.
Currently, the northern and upper regions transport COVID-19 samples to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research for testing.
The situation according to the Northern Regional Health Directorate puts a financial strain on the Directorate as it costs almost a GHS 1,000 transporting samples per trip.
The commencement of the tests at the Tamale Public Health and Reference Laboratory will ease the burden on the Health Directorate as well as provide real-time results.
“This comes as very good news for us because since this thing started we have been sending samples to KCCR in Kumasi which comes with its all challenges in terms of the financial aspect and the efforts that we put in place. If we are actually going to start that burden when it comes to the financial aspect and the effort that we put in place will be reduced to the barest minimum.
“When you look at the turn around time of the time, you realize that the turn around the term is long so if we are able to start here I think it will bring the turn around time to the barest minimum. The machine potentially is able to run 96 samples sometimes when you send the samples because of the backlog, you realise the turn around time is long.”
Cases in Volta Region
The Volta Region has confirmed 10 COVID-19 cases.
Six of out of the ten novel coronavirus cases were from foreigners who illegally entered Ghana weeks ago.
The six were travellers from Nigeria “who had entered Ghana through unapproved routes along the Ghana-Togo border near Aflao,” the Volta Regional Coordinating Council had said in a statement.
Apart from the lack of testing kits there are also concerns over what some private facilities call the government’s neglect in the distribution of PPE in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare has however indicated that government intends ensuring that “all health professionals who are in this fight against COVID-19 are protected.”
“The distribution is for everybody who is at the forefront of the fight. The distribution will be for all health workers who are at the front.”
Globally, the deficit of PPE amid the novel coronavirus pandemic has been a major point of concern and Ghana has not been an exception.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has reiterated its concerns over the distribution of PPE to health facilities after the confirmation that 13 members of the group who are medical doctors tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The government says it has enabled significant domestic production and supply of protective equipment to health workers.
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