Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister, has disclosed that some government officials are being tested for the Coronavirus.
According to him, the term officials include all Ministers and other government officers who came into contact or interacted with persons under mandatory quarantine.
The move, he explained, is to check the spread of the virus as the government intensifies its contact tracing of all persons who have been exposed to the virus by infected or suspected cases.
Speaking in an interview on JoyNews Sunday night, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah allayed fears of Ghanaians noting that government has all contacts to the potential pool of persons who ought to go through the testing and considerable work is being done to reach out to all of them.
“The second cohort is that in mandatory quarantine, out of 1030, about 79 or so tested positive. Those persons also came into contact with a number of persons even from the airport to mandatory quarantine. A lot of persons who came into contact with these persons need to be tested. We have a clear database of who these persons are. They have started the process even including some of the government officials who have been involved in this. They have also started the testing process,” he revealed.
He explained that government’s quest to get ahead of the virus to stop its spread has resulted in the initiation of proactive measures including widening the scope of persons to undergo testing.
The Information Minister added that it is in line with this thinking that government also called on all persons who have entered the country from March 3 to avail themselves for testing as efforts are being made to reach them for that purpose.
“In Ghana today we have about 64 cases confirmed from general surveillance. Out of these 5 have died, unfortunately, 2 have recovered so if you net off (it’s about 54). Those cases have a pool of contact around it. Initially, the science of COVID-19 suggested that it may take us up to about 14 days before the symptoms manifest. So the view was, find them, observe them if they show symptoms you can test. The view holds even today that is the person is Asymtimatic and you test, you may not find anything even if the person is exposed.
“But now the decision that has been taken is that test all of those contacts even as at now and test a bit more, even twice or thrice during the period even while they are isolated. So one of the first things that we are doing is that, for these 54 or so cases that are still active under local surveillance, test them. Test the contacts of these people. And the contacts, over 1000 I think who have been traced to these 54 some have already been tested but the idea is to complete this testing. we have a clear database of who these people are, where they traveled to…” he explained.
Ghana’s case count stands at about 153 cases with no new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
The government has imposed restrictions on the movement of persons in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, where most cases have been recorded, to help with surveillance and ensure a more effective contact tracing and testing.
So far, 5 persons have died and 2 recovered after contracting the virus.