Covid cases will go up if we test more; consider reintroducing protocols – KCCR Virologist

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Research fellow at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), and a lecturer at the Department of Medical Diagnostics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Michael Owusu, has asserted that when more Covid-19 tests are conducted, more active cases would be recorded in Ghana.

He told Alfred Ocansey on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show that due to the fear of stigmatization a lot of people have refused to do the Covid-19 testing even though they show symptoms of the disease.

“The country has been adequately resourced to do the testing but the challenge now is the willingness for people to test. Many people, although may be having the classical symptoms of Covid, are a bit reluctant to test.

“They prefer to manage and handle their own thing and also fear for the stigma which is still in the system so they don’t want test for anybody to say they have Covid,” Michael Owusu explained

The scientist added that even those that are working in companies and organizations won’t test even if they suspect they have Covid or show positive symptoms because they don’t want their employers to be alarmed. The fear of stigmatization is hindering testing” he iterated

Dr. Michael Owusu is of the view that the current rise in active cases in Ghana should be seen as an opportunity for us to encourage people to go for testing and also take the vaccine. He explained further that those who are fully vaccinated are not likely to be hospitalized or die even if they get the severe Covid.

He noted that this current wave is highly infectious than the earlier Omicron variant and it is likely to cause multiple infections though it is not as violent as the Delta variant.

Ghana’s Covid-19 statistics currently stands at; Confirmed Cases 163,191, Deaths 1,445, Active Cases 1,026 and New Cases 120.

Government is advised to reintroduce some of the relaxed Covid protocols.

“I think that very soon the president should relook at the measures that were earlier announced and the key ones are the Infection Prevention Control Measures. There is the need for mandatory mask wearing to be reinforced especially for large gatherings like churches were people are interacting, religious and other social gatherings where people are very active” he stressed

According to the KCCR Virologist, the adherence to the protocols will not only help prevent Covid but more importantly help in the prevention of other infectious diseases. Thus; mask wearing will help cut down the numbers, reduce infections and protect the vulnerable. Once again the benefits of using things like sanitizers, washing of hands and others extend beyond the prevention of Covid.

“It is also good to let people know that these Covid protocols are not only working against Covid but also the Monkeypox which is also around and the variant of influenza H3 and many other illnesses especially under this cold weather condition” Michael Owusu assured.

By Samuel Afriyie Owusu||Ghana

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