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General News of Thursday, 23 April 2020

Source: GNA

Coronavirus testing: 100 TB Gene Experts labs being recalibrated


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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, efforts are underway to recalibrate 100 Regional and District Tuberculosis Gene Expert Laboratories to ensure that each region has a minimum of one testing centre for COVID-19.

He explained the enhancement of the capacity to test had been made possible by the dedication of the expanded teams at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research, and the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.

The President made the announcement in a national broadcast to give his seventh update on measures taken against the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, he announced that investments were being made to expand the use of PCR Technology in some facilities for enhanced testing.

"We are making significant investments in the laboratories at the Veterinary Laboratory, Accra, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratory, Accra, the Police Hospital, the 37 Military Hospitals," he stated.

"The rest are the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, the Veterinary Services Department in Sekondi-Takoradi, the Public Health Laboratory in Tamale, the War Memorial Hospital in Navrongo and the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, so they can also use PCR Technology."

On treatment, the President said the Government had expanded and added to the network of COVID-19 treatment centres, with the Ga East and the Bank of Ghana Hospitals being 100 per cent dedicated to the fight.

"Last Friday, I was honoured to do the virtual sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of a 100-bed Infectious Disease and Isolation Facility at the Ga East Municipal Hospital, which is being funded through a public-private partnership, under the leadership of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund," said.

"The construction, with the assistance of the 48-Engineer Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces, will be completed in six weeks.

"Members of the Private Sector Fund have, indeed, acted like citizens, and not spectators, in these testing times for our country, and their patriotism is to be loudly praised."

Other centres are at the University of Ghana Medical School Hospital, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi South Hospital, and in other designated Regional and District Hospitals.

The Government had also scaled up the domestic production of Personal Protective Equipment with health care facilities, so far, taking delivery of 14,550 scrubs, 11,900 gowns, 19,980 headcovers, 263,281 nose masks and 13,002 N-95 nose masks.

They have also received 41,117 varying sizes of locally produced sanitizers.

With other measures also put in place, he, therefore, announced the lifting of the three-week restriction on movements in the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas and contiguous districts, effective, Monday, April 20.

He, however, urged Ghanaians to continuously adhere to the safety and social distancing protocols to contain the spread of the disease.



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