The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) are expected to complete work on Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits for COVID-19 this week.
This is to help enhance the country’s testing capacity and better determine the incidence rate.
So far some 100,000 tests have been conducted with 1,550 positive cases.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the RDTs, when ready, will augment current surveillance testing protocols.
“This week we are expecting Noguchi, the FDA and the experts to report on an RDT option to assist our surveillance.”
“We are of the view that would help quicken an answer to the incidence rate in Ghana assuming that is the model that we want to add to our intervention.”
The Minister added that “they have already done some tests on which RDT model is best able to assist and we are expecting that when they are done, they will report this week.”
Currently, the FDA has warned the public that, it has neither registered nor recognised any rapid diagnoses test kit for self-testing in the country.
The FDA has indicated that over 100 companies and institutions have approached it to import RDTs from China, South Korea, among others.
A company has also requested permission to commence local mass production of the RDT kits in partnership with a foreign partner.
Currently, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) has been recommended by the FDA and is what the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Kumasi are using.
RDT kits are noted to have limitations and persons who use them are still advised to go for a confirmation test using the PCR, which gives precise results as to whether the person has it or not.