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Government needs to consider free or heavily subsidised Covid-19 testing for citizens to ascertain the level of spread – Titus Beyuo

Government needs to consider free or heavily subsidised Covid-19 testing for citizens to ascertain the level of spread – Titus Beyuo

As Ghana’s Covid-19 cases continue to soar, there have been calls for government to reduce the country’s testing regime.

According to statistics from the Ghana Health Service, the country currently has about 1,400 active Covid-19 cases with more than 340 people killed.

But for the General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association and a member of the Infectious Diseases Committee, Dr Titus Beyuo, there could be far more community spread since rigorous contact tracing and testing has reduced.

He, therefore, called on government to consider free or heavily subsidised testing for the public to ascertain the level of spread in the country.

“Why we are asking for the testing to be free or heavily subsidized is because apart from people who come to hospital for other reasons or who are sick and we refer them for Covid-19 testing, individuals who realise that they may be having the symptoms as educated in the media; coughing, lack of smell and taste and they decide to get tested, there is no avenue.

“If the person goes for a private testing, it is very expensive. Apart from that, it is a danger to us because those tested privately appear not to be linked with the system of care,” he said.

According to him, although the Ghana Health Service says it has records of all persons who test positive in the country, the Service rarely contributes to the treatment and management processes of the patients.

He explained that, persons who carry out private testing, have to seek their own treatment and management when they discover to be positive, thereby, increasing the spread of the disease.

“But when you speak to the Ghana Health Service, they will give you a beautiful picture that when you test in a private laboratory your data is uploaded onto the software system that all testing centres are connected to.

“However, people who test positive in these private laboratories are not contacted. So they have to reach out contacting people, be it friends, family, doctors amongst others on where they should go to get treatment,” he said.

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