A member of the National Democratic Congress’ COVID-19 technical team, Dr. Grace Ayensu-Danquah has expressed concern about the fast-rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to her, the government’s claims that the rising cases are due to its rigorous testing regime must be disregarded since the situation only proves that community spread of the virus is increasing across the country.
Speaking on The Point of View on Monday, she said, “we have not curtailed the horizontal transmission, that is why we are getting more positive tests.”
The president, Nana Akufo-Addo in his ninth national address on the country’s fight against COVID-19 indicated that Ghana’s case count would have stood at about 1,300 if the government had not embarked on its enhanced testing drive.
“We must understand that the more people we test for the virus, the more persons we will discover as positive, and, thus, have the opportunity to isolate and treat them. If you do not test people for the virus, you will not find the persons who are positive…Had we not been proactive in undertaking enhanced contact tracing of infected persons, and had relied solely on testing persons who reported to the hospital, which is the practice followed by some other countries, i.e. routine testing, our total case count would have stood at one thousand, four hundred and thirteen (1,413),” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
“The other three thousand, two hundred and thirty-two (3,232), i.e. two-thirds (?) of the population of positives, would have been undetected, and still be within the population, unknowingly infecting others,” he added.
But Dr. Ayensu-Danquah has challenged the assertion, stressing that the government has not done enough to curtail the spread of the disease hence the confirmation of many positive cases.
She said although testing is important, the government cannot claim it as an achievement to paint the picture that it is winning the fight against COVID-19.
“If you test more and there is no transmission or the asymptomatic people are not infecting others, you will get negative tests. Getting positives does not mean you are testing more. It shows that transmission is still going on… It is good you are catching the people [through testing] but transmission is still going on,” she stressed.
Dr. Ayensu-Danquah who is also the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Essikado-Ketan Constituency said the government must move beyond the enhanced testing and focus on mass testing which guarantees the better result of identifying and quickly isolating those who may be COVID-19 positive.
“Mass testing is not what we are doing now. We are doing enhanced testing, we need to move to mass testing,” she said.
Within a space of two weeks, Ghana’s COVID-19 case count has more than doubled with some expressing worry that the development spells doom for the country’s efforts in curtailing the spread of the virus.
Others have on that basis even called for the president to impose stricter restrictions on movement but that appears not to be in the government’s plan after recently lifting a three-week partial lockdown imposed on Accra and Kumasi to aggressive trace and test suspected cases.
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