Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says Ghana is ahead of the USA, the UK and most African countries with regards to enhanced tracing and testing of suspected persons with COVID-19.
“In the context of contact tracing, we are trying to identify all the people who have been in contact with a positive person so we can test them as well. We are ahead of the countries such as the USA and UK in this and we are also pursuing a strategy of aggressive testing. In terms of testing the Coronavirus, Ghana, on the basis of the available data we have, is in the top 20 countries in the world and on the basis of this data too, in Africa, we are number one per capita in terms of testing. In terms of numbers of tests, South Africa is number one and we are second but in terms of testing per capita in terms of testing per our population, we are leading in the continent,” the Vice President said.
“We have tested 37,954 people and if you look at Africa alone, the data seems to show the total number of tests is under 10,000 and Ghana has tested 37,954 of the said number and we’ve increased the testing centres to six but what is significant with Ghana’s approach is we are chasing the virus and trying to get ahead of it,” he added.
Dr. Bawumia made the remark on Monday, April 13, 2020, when he launched the GH COVID-19 Tracker App.
The App is a user friendly and free to download mobile software application powered by the Ministry of Communication to among other things, help the government in identifying and tracing persons who have come into contact with persons infected with COVID-19.
It can also be accessed through the USSD code *769# on all networks with options in six local languages.
While launching the App, Dr. Bawumia said, “It will help us easily track people with the virus, [and] those who have had contact with others. It is also useful in quarantine reliability, in case certain individuals need self-quarantine.”
Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful also said the newly launched Ghana COVID-19 tracker will boost the country’s fight against the pandemic by providing accurate data to curb the spread of the virus at the launch.
She said the tracker has been designed to quicken the contact tracing efforts and also to discover information that may be difficult to gather through the manual process.
“Experience has shown that one way to combat this pandemic is through technology-experience from those who suffered its effects before we did. The Ghana COVID-19 tracker is one of the tools being used by the government of Ghana to respond to the pandemic and help keep all of us safe. We need accurate data to know where the virus is and is heading towards to be able to fight it swiftly and in the most efficient way possible just as has been done by some affected countries around the world. The app seeks everybody’s assistance through crowdsourcing data to collect as much possible information to assist the Ghana Health Service quickly identify persons or groups of individuals at high risk of being positive for COVID-19 which may otherwise not be discovered through the traditional and manual sources of data collection. The information collected from the app will help us prioritize health services that are already overburden steering them onto the right high-risk areas as early as possible,” the minister said.
Ghana’s confirmed cases of COVID-19
Ghana has 566 cases of COVID-19 with ten (10) deaths and seventeen (17) recoveries.
So far ten out of 16 regions have recorded COVID-19 cases.