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Government spends US$35million on testing for COVID-19

The Government of Ghana has so far spent US$35million on testing 346,990 COVID-19 suspected cases.
The amount is not part of the expenditure on the expansion of testing capacity.

A Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Oko Boye, made the revelation when he updated Parliament on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation, in Accra, on Monday.

He said the cost of one Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) test on average was U$100 for a suspected case.

The PCR tests were used to detect the genetic information of the virus and also gives indication of the person who is infected with disease, Dr Boye added.

He said Ghana had so far done 346,990 tests with a positivity rate of 7.9 per cent.

He said the number of tests done per million of a country’s population gives an indication of the commitment of the country towards fighting the pandemic.

He said the higher the test per million population, the more reliable the picture painted for that country.

Dr Boye stated that Ghana’s total case count as at July 16, 2020 stood at 27,667, with 148 deaths, 23,249 recoveries with an active case count standing at 4,270.

He said Ghana’s mortality rate deducing from the statistics was 0.5 percent, meaning for every 1,000 cases of COVID-19, Ghana could record five deaths.

However, Ghana’s COVID-19 death rate remains one of the lowest in the world, adding that the more efficient management of COVID-19 in a country, the lower the mortality rate.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, in a remark charged Ghanaians to interrogate government for its handling of the pandemic since the disease does not discriminate in terms of one’s party colour, affiliation, and economic status.

“Ghanaians have a responsibility to interrogate what government is doing, because COVID-19 does not attack as a result of one’s party colour, affiliation and economic status,” he added.

He urged the citizens to hold government accountable in terms of monies approved by the legislature to help fight the disease.

The MP for Asokore, Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie, lauded the government for the effective management of the Coronavirus disease.

He said the country’s mortality rate, which was low, was not just by divine intervention, but as result of good decisions, better protocols and the structures put in place by government.

Dr Afriyie praised the Government for maximizing the resources allocated to the pandemic efficiently, but however challenged skeptics on the performance of the Government to rather applaud it for putting in measures to contain the disease, with a mortality of 0.5 percent.

Other countries have average mortality rates above one percent, Dr Afriyie pointed out, and said that of Ghana was not just a divine intervention, but real decisions that had translated into that achievement.

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