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GMA sends strong caution to Gov’t over adoption of new WHO discharge guidelines

The Ghana Medical Association is urging government to rethink its decision to discharge COVID-19 patients based on the World Health Organization’s(WHO) new guidelines.

Speaking on government’s decision to adopt the new guidelines by WHO, General Secretary for the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Justice Yankson said government must be cautious because there is a caveat to the new guidelines.

“The same WHO report gave us some caveat and I think we should bear that in mind, it says that it is minimal and others and that transmission could occur within this blood test criteria so we should not forget about that. The WHO itself is also encouraging the scientific community to compile a lot more evidence to help… this isolation discharge protocol. It is also encouraging country’s to continue to test and also that countries can still go by an original approach where you have two negatives what this means is that the WHO is saying that no this new approach might not be absolute.”

President Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on Sunday, June 21 explained that Ghana has adopted the new guideline in discharging Covid-19 patients.

“However, there is now new evidence which states that, after ten (10) to fourteen (14) days, a person, with no symptoms, is unlikely to transmit the virus to others, even if the person continues to test positive.

It is on this basis that WHO has updated its guidelines, as published per its Clinical Management of COVID-19 Interim Guidance, of 27th May 2020, “as part of the clinical care pathway of a COVID-19 patient”. According to WHO, asymptomatic patients, i.e. those who have tested positive for the virus, but are not exhibiting any symptoms after fourteen (14) days, “are not likely to be infectious, and, therefore, are unlikely to be able to transmit the virus to another person”.

After three (3) weeks of analysing and studying this update and recommendation, and situating it in the Ghanaian context, in line with the admonition by WHO to Member States, this new patient discharge/recovery policy has now been adopted by Ghana, as have some countries in the European Union, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and in Dubai.”

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