Ghana continues to lead the pack on the continent as the country with the highest number of tests for coronavirus.
In a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, April 26, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo revealed that so far the country has tested 100,622 coronavirus samples.
“From this pool, the total number of confirmed infections have risen from 1,042 to 1,550,” the president said.
There have been controversy over Ghana’s testing figures with critics raising doubts about the capacity of the country’s major research laboratories to conduct as many tests in a few weeks.
This forced the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR) to respond with the Head of Virology, Professor William Ampofo hinting last Monday that tests on the novel viral disease was nearing 100,000.
He indicated how the capacity of the research centre has been given a boon while services have been scheduled to run 24/7.
It is data from the major research centres that informed the president’s decision to lift the lockdown imposed in Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa.
“Since I last spoke to you, we have completed the analyses of another 32,031 samples, bringing the number of tests from 68,591 to 100,622.”
The president had indicated that there was a backlog of tests to be conducted.
From the completion of the tests, Ghana’s positivity rate stands at 1.5 per cent.
President Akufo-Addo had hinted in his last address that more testing centres will be opened across the country to augment the services provided by NMIMR, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) and the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.
He listed the Veterinary Laboratory, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratory (CSIR), the Police Hospital, the 37 Military Hospital, all in Accra, the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho, the Veterinary Services Department in Sekondi-Takoradi, the Public Health Laboratory in Tamale, the War Memorial Hospital in Navrongo and the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital in Cape Coast as facilities government will invest in so they can also use PCR Technology.
“We are recalibrating 100 Regional and District Tuberculosis Gene Expert Laboratories across the country, to help ensure that we have a minimum situation of one testing centre per region,” he said.
On Sunday, he reiterated the need to get enough testing centres for diseases such as coronavirus.
“We are going to beef up our existing laboratories and establish new ones across every region for testing,” President Akufo-Addo announced, adding that three infectious disease control centres for the three belt of the country will be established in an aim to get a national disease control centre.
He assured that the exact budget on all these will be laid bare soon for public scrutiny.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana