Government has calmed fears over the implementation of a new COVID-19 discharge policy.
The policy, which is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) revised recommendations allows for asymptomatic COVID-19 persons to be discharged after 14 days without a test.
Prior to the new scientific evidence which informed the new discharge guidelines, infected persons on treatment were required to record two consecutive negative tests before they were discharged even if they showed mild or no symptoms after 10 to 14 days.
Following the announcement last week, over 5000 persons at various treatment centres have been discharged by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The latest figure released by the GHS showed about 10,473 cases being subjected to the latest recovery guidelines as recovered, leaving Ghana with 3,596 active cases.
The development has raised concerns about a second wave of infections in the country.
But Special Advisor on Health at the Presidency Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare says there is no cause for alarm.
“We are not the only country who adopted this policy. A lot of countries are adopting it from the European Union, Asian, Pacific and the other countries. This is a recommendation that has been tested and proven in other countries, so it’s not like Ghana is in a rush to do anything. I believe we are trying to find out from other West African countries and I think most of them are also following this type of recommendation. There is no cost-benefit keeping somebody who is sick but is out of the symptoms in hospitals unnecessarily. It is also of no cost-benefit if you keep somebody in the system for 14 days only because you want to see the person testing negative twice,” he noted.
The Ghana Health Service had earlier defended its decision to adjust the discharge guideline.
According to them, rising costs of testing, clogging of isolation and treatment centres and rising maintenance costs account for the new COVID-19 discharge policies.
In a press release, the GHS further explained that the reasons for the introduction of the new principles are to among other things decongest the country’s isolation centres.
A Biostatistician and a lecturer at the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Ghana, Dr. Duah Dwomoh, has, however, condemned the government for its new guidelines for discharging persons infected with COVID-19.
He described the new protocols as “terrible” and could lead the country “into a serious situation”.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he explained that due to the dynamics of COVID-19, persons infected might not show symptoms, but transmit the virus which makes it deadly, insisting that the perception of asymptomatic persons not transmitting the virus is “wrong”.