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Oppong Nkrumah clarifies Gov’t stance on testing of hotspot areas of COVID-19

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The Minister of Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has issued clarification on the testing of hotspot areas of the novel coronavirus in Ghana. He made this clarification in a press briefing at the Ministry of Information today, 1st April 2020. Speaking on the matter, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah noted that “there have been reports that Government intends to do compulsory testing or mass testing in some areas and it is important to really clear this up.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Government of Ghana just want to update on what the enhanced program is. It has two parts. There are those who fall within the basket of contact tracing and testing. They are the persons who we know have come into contact with positive cases. There is a second cohort of that contact tracing and testing which is made up of persons who came into the Ghanaian jurisdiction within a particular window. These are the persons that primarily we seek to trace and test” he added.

This comes at the back of several media reportage purporting the Government will in the coming days embark on mandatory mass testing of hotspot areas primarily identified to have the COVID-19. The reports claimed that the Ghana Health Service will within the two (2) weeks lock down period embark on a house-to-house test of people especially in the Greater Accra Region and some part of the Ashanti Region, the two regions suspected to be hotspots of the virus.

The Minister of Information also pointed out that “already engagement has started on how persons who have been identified in these areas can make themselves available for the testing while others are being traced. Teams are being trained across the country who are doing that.”

Ghana has recorded 195 confirmed cases of the novel virus. Out of the 195, 174 of the cases have been recorded in the Greater Accra Region, 10 cases in the Northern Region, 9 in the Ashanti Region and 1 in the Upper West and Eastern Regions respectively. 106 of these cases have come from state’s general surveillance, 79 came from the 1030 travelers undergoing mandatory quarantine in Accra and the 10 travelers who were also made to go through mandatory quarantine in Tamale.

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