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General News of Wednesday, 22 April 2020


Don’t be surprised if we test 100,000 coronavirus samples – Noguchi

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One of Ghana’s testing laboratories for coronavirus, Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR), says the country could soon hit the 100,000 mark as regards tests.

“Don’t be surprised if we say we have tested 100,000 samples in Ghana,” Professor William Ampofo, the Head of Virology at NMIMR, said on Wednesday.

He added that there has been a boost in staff strength across the various testing centres in the country affording them the opportunity to run a 24-hour service.

Prof Ampofo made this known while addressing journalists at a media briefing in Accra organised by the Ministry of Information to update Ghanaians on the pandemic.

There has been controversy over the capacity of Ghana’s medical laboratories dedicated to coronaviurs tests to conduct research on samples as many as 86,000 as announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Sunday.

Critics argued that as per the capacity of the test centres, Ghana cannot test over 80,000 samples within a three-week period.

But Professor Ampofo said Ghana has since the outbreak of coronavirus had support from the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the African Centre for Disease Control (AfCDC).

This has ensured quality control on all tests they conduct at the laboratories including the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) and the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.

Therefore, he indicated, the figures churned out are exact reflection of all the tests conducted.

The veteran virologist said his outfit has so far tested 76,921 samples of Covid-19 with results of 70,921 already out.

KCCR, he mentioned, has so far tested 25,219 samples with results of 15,180 out, adding that the cumulative tests would soon hit 100,000.

He stressed that these are for individuals since a separate database has been created for those are are re-tested.