The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists has asked the government to consider setting up at least two more testing centres for the novel coronavirus to complement the existing two.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the President for the association, Dr. Ignatius Awinibuno said “we are afraid, once the numbers keep going up, we will be faced with this particular problem [of not enough testing points.]”
Ghana has testing capabilities for the virus at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research but Dr. Awinibuno said at least one more is needed in Accra and one in Tamale or Bolgatanga.
“Concentration on [Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research for testing] is not enough,” he warned.
He explained that there was some concern because as things stand, “the amount of distance you transport them [samples] will be a risk to the public.”
“It doesn’t cost much as a nation for us as a nation for us to acquire this and confirm a diagnosis in the upper part of the country in let say Tamale which has also a very well equipped lab.”
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists also called on the government to provide basic protective equipment for its members in the wake of the outbreak.
In an earlier statement, the association advised its members to withdraw from facilities where personal protective equipment is not available for the discharge of their duties.
The Association also urged Government to “immediately explore the possibilities of collaborating with researchers at the Universities to at least restructure and resource the Public Health Laboratories, Teaching Hospital Laboratories and selected laboratories at the country’s borders with state-of-the-art portable PCR devices and certified biosafety cabinets to enable them test COVID-19 suspected samples.”
Ghana’s cases so far
Ghana has so far detected six cases of the novel coronavirus in Ghana, four of which were announced on Sunday.
Three of the newest cases were recorded in Accra while one other was recorded in the Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.
So far, 151 people have been identified in contact tracing for four out of six individuals who have the novel coronavirus.