The Northern Regional Health Directorate says the 12 new cases recorded in the region are among some 200 samples which were taken to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) for testing on April 22nd.
Among the twelve is a five-year-old girl.
Speaking at a press briefing, the Regional Health Director, John Eleeza indicated that, these new cases were contacts of some two COVID-19 patients who have recovered.
He expressed worry about delays in receiving the test results which has the potential of expanding community infections.
“We had earlier complained that when we send samples to KCCR it takes a lot of time for us to get the results and I know for some time now you have been wondering what happened to the 200 samples we took from the contacts of the 2 positive cases we had about three weeks ago. The sudden jump in the numbers we have seen is due to the fact that those results arrived yesterday, we actually submitted the samples on the 22nd of April and it was on yesterday, the 15th of May that we had the results.”
“And that tells you that as a region and a metropolis, in particular, we are going to have serious challenges because here is the case, we took these samples almost three weeks back and it is getting to a month and we now have the results. Out of the 200 contacts, 12 happen to be positive and so we need to quickly start following up on those ones to find out who are their new contacts and how they are faring and it is a herculean task,” he lamented.
According to the Regional Health Director, the Northern Regional case count as of today has increased to 32 from the 31 recorded yesterday following one new positive case involving a health worker.
“The 12 cases that we had nine of them happen to be males and the other three are females. With respect to the age distribution, we have an age range of five years to 51 years of age. The five-year-old is a little girl so we need to quickly trace to find out what is happening. As I was on my way here I also received the results of the samples we sent yesterday; one of the batches were ready and again amongst those ones we have one more being positive. The rest of the batches are being run and the results can be anything so the local figure here as at today is 32.”
He also advised residents of the Tamale Metropolis to abide by the safety protocols as everyone is a potential COVID-19 patient.
“This is why we have always been saying that there is the need to follow the protocols or the directives given by the president; that we should use face masks, we should do social distancing, washing our hands with soap under running water regularly because you need to consider everyone a potential case and treat the person as such and think that they can easily infect you if you don’t take the necessary steps to protect yourself. The worry is that if the 12 people who have been confirmed positive did not follow this process then they are likely to have infected another set of people. Last week, the new cases we had, we could not tell the source of their infection because they had no history of travel.”