Chinese Government hands over medical supplies to Ghana

The Chinese Government on Wednesday, presented its second batch of medical supplies, to the Ministry of Health, to support Ghana in the fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The supplies were made up of 20,000 N-95 protective face masks, 350,000 surgical masks, 10,000 disposable coverall, 15,000 each of medical googles, and disposable gloves and 3,000 disposable shoe covers.

Dr Zhou Jing, the Charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy, handed over the supplies to the Ministry represented by Dr Bernard Oko-Boye, the Deputy Minister of Health at a short ceremony in Accra.

According to Dr Zhou the Chinese Government was the first to send medical supplies via chartered aircraft to 18 African countries including Ghana, to assist in ensuring the safety of especially frontline healthcare workers at the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The subsequent gesture by the Government of China, he said, was a reciprocity of the global solidarity shown the country when it was hard hit by the pandemic at the early stages.
He said China’s situation was improving quickly with no single case of domestic infection for the past one month now, except for the new cases being imported into the country due to incoming flights, and the country had also witnessed improved economy growth by a 3.2 per cent in the second quarter, from its initial fall by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

Dr Zhou commended the government of Ghana and its Agencies for working hard to manage the spread of the virus and said the Chinese Government would make the COVID-19 Vaccine that was being developed, readily accessible and affordable to all when they were ready for use, and urged countries to remain in solidarity in fighting the common global enemy.

Dr Oko-Boye, thanked the benefactors for the donation and the partnership that existed between the two countries and said although Ghana was confident of winning the war against the COVID-19 quickly, it needed strong partnership in ways to protect its citizens from the importation of the virus.

“That is why Ghana insists on a negative PCR test before getting on board a plane, and the subjection of ones’ self to an Antigen test,” to tell the current COVID-19 status of a person and their capability of transmitting the virus to others if tested positive.

According to Dr Oko-Boye the current number of active cases of 564 persons as at the last update, was inspiring and encouraging and urged Ghanaians to continue to observe all the safety and hygiene protocols including the mandatory wearing of face masks and the social distancing rule, to help sustain the gains made.

The Deputy Health Ministry, however, warned Ghanaians against complacency, saying, the war was not yet over and “COVID-19 is among the few situations where one man’s precaution is not enough, but everyone must be interested in the safety of others, as one person’s recklessness, could ruin all the important things put in place.”

He said the donation by the Chinese Government re-echoed the fact that the war was not over yet, and appeal to the media to the sustain education and advocacy against COVID-19 related stigma and timely reporting of cases to save lives.

Story: Sheila Satori Mensa


Ghana hits 6,096 Coronavirus cases, Gov’t eyes Madagascar ‘remedy’

Ghana’s case count passed 6,000 mark reaching 6,096 on Tuesday according to tallies released by the Ghana Health Service. The tallies showed that four regions had recorded increases: Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Central regions.

Meanwhile Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says government has reached out to Madagascar to make available its supposed COVID-19 herbal remedy.

He stressed that the product will undergo strict testing by appropriate authorities in Ghana to prove the efficacy or otherwise before it will be administered if at all.

“We are considering it [the herbal cure]. We have reached out to them [Madagascar]. We have asked that it [should] be made available to us and like all drugs, it will be tested by FDA and in this case by the Center for Plant Medicine and if proven efficacious, we can recommend its use,” he said on state TV.

The ministry had earlier tweeted the minister as saying: “We have received the Madagascar cure for COVID-19 and we are testing it for efficacy.” The information was later clarified with the exact words of the minister.

Madagascar officially made donations to all 15 countries in the ECOWAS bloc. The donation was done through Guinea-Bissau who are distributing them to neighbouring countries; It is not known if they have as yet delivered Ghana’s consignment.

Total confirmed cases = 6,069

Total recoveries = 1,773

Total deaths = 31

Active cases = 4,292

Figures valid as of May 19, 2020

Editorial: Is Government misleading Ghanaians with Coronavirus data?

It has emerged that the Government of Ghana is misleading Ghanaians with a high number of figures which is considered as the number of cases tested so far.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, April 19, 2020, through his televised broadcast noted that Ghana has so far tested 68,591 people for the Coronavirus.

He said that the 68,591 was out of 86,000 contacts which the country had traced.

He explained: “There is, thus, a backlog of some 18,000 tests whose results are yet to be received. The overwhelming majority of these contacts have been established in the last three weeks of the partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi. Out of this number, 1,042 persons, i.e. 1.5%, have been confirmed as positive, with 67,549, i.e. 98.5%, testing negative; 99 persons have recovered and have been discharged; and 930 persons, who have been isolated, are responding to treatment either in their homes or in treatment facilities.”

Meanwhile, Ghanaians are being told that for patients to be discharged, they need to be tested at least thrice to prove that they are negative before they could be discharged.

Situating this argument with the number of people recovered, namely, 99 patients, it implies that the 68,591 government is claiming to be the number of patients tested so far is false.

Therefore, if the 99 patients who have recovered were tested three times (99 by 3 =297), and add that to the number of tests so far, the total number of tests conducted since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus

in Ghana will not be the 68,591; here it is inflated but in reality, it must be less. This implies that the figures are not a true reflection of the actually less number of people tested.

Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa on Citi TV had raised concerns about the data on the Ghana Health Service website.

According to him, in a situation where 12,000 outstanding tests which results are yet to be received rather saw a sharp increase in numbers to 1042.

“Surprisingly on April 13, 2020, that was the number that had been positive and reported on the Ghana Health Service official website but somehow, that number only came out from the President’s address on Sunday.

“In a sense, I am seeing that the results, probably are coming, but somehow results are being managed in a manner that might look suitable,” he said.

Prof Akosa further stated that even though the health officials were quick to remove the said figure from the official website, the graph on the website indicated that Ghana had attained 1042 case count before the televised announcement by the President.

But Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Deputy Minister for Health admitted that indeed the figures do not give a true reflection but rather they aid the statistics of the health workers.

He added even the numbers appear to have been increased to create a certain impression per critical analysis, they give a significant number if the actual figures are used.

Dr Okoe-Boye explained that “if you’ve tested 50,000 of which some have to be tested two or three times, the figure [50,000] is needed for your statistics. Remember without that number of tests, you couldn’t have recorded the said figure…

“There are two ways to look at it…you look at it from the number of tests you’ve done, to show that you are investing resources into the number of the testing regime but in terms of the coverage I admit it if you want to take it out to have a true reflection.”

Ghanaians are already doubting the figures that are being recorded on the official COVID-19 website managed by Ghana Health Service.

On the website, the graph representation shows that already the data is flattened without any number of data from April 14 to April 19, 2020. As to what that means the health officials need to explain further.

Confirmed: Passengers who arrived at KIA on Saturday evening placed under mandatory quarantine

Government as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country, on Saturday night begun quarantining all passengers disembarking at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

According to one of the travellers, passengers were not informed about the development prior to arriving in the country until they got to the arrival hall of Terminal 3.

Passengers were surprised to see the hall swarmed with senior government officials as well as health officers.

The source said after airport and health authorities finished their checks, all the passengers were made to board buses to begin a 14-day quarantine.

Those who arrived onboard a British Airways flight were reportedly driven to the Airport View Hotel located about a kilometre away from the KIA.

A pssenger who arrived from Monrovia, Liberia, onboard Air Cote d’Ivoire, said she was being quarantined at the La Palm Royal Hotel also in the capital.

Facebook post by one of the passengers

Ghans can no longer take any chances as the number of novel coronavirus cases have increased from 19 to 21 as at Saturday.

The number of active cases, however, is 20, as one of the patients has died.

Effective Sunday, Ghana will close all its borders in a move to contain the pandemic which has recorded cases with people who have no travel history, what experts call community transmission.

President Nana Akufo-Addo who announced this Saturday said the decision is to help reduce further escalation of the infection rate in the country, which hitherto recorded only imported cases.

“All that government is doing is intended to achieve five key objectives: limit and stop the importation of the virus, contain its spread, provide adequate care for the sick, limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life, and inspire the expansion of our domestic capabilities and deepen our self-reliance,” he explained.

It was his third address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic.

He said all the country’s borders – land, air and sea – will be closed at midnight on Sunday


Lock down the country – Ghana Health Service advises government

Per public health principles, it will be in the country’s best interest to lock down, says the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Aboagye.

His comment comes on the back of Ghana seeing a rising number of new infections as the days go by.

According to the Director-General of GHS, it will be prudent for Ghana to take cues from countries who have shut down as the country keeps recording overnight surge in the coronavirus cases.

“If we want to apply public health principles that will be now. But we don’t live only on public health, we have other parameters to consider, but looking at just the public health principles now will be the best time to shut down. But there are other ramifications and so those things, we need to calculate and make sure that at the earliest point, such systems are put in place,” he said on Newsfile, Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Currently, Ghana has a total number of 19 recorded cases of the coronavirus.

Speaking on Joy News, Dr. Patrick Aboagye stated the need for the citizenry to be adherent to the precautionary measures outlined by the Ghana Health Service and the World Health Organization. This, he believes will slow down the spread of the outbreak.

He also debunked claims that gatherings of 25 persons and less can moderate the virus spread.

“For me, even the kind of introductions that have come in now, if we are disciplined enough to abide by them, it will significantly work well. The fact that they say we have closed schools doesn’t mean you should go and meet in the park and play football, we need to ensure that you don’t need to go out. You don’t go out to the mall, just roaming, these are the things all of us need to observe.

“I don’t know where the 25 number limit is coming from, the number the President mentioned is only limited to a private burial but all public gatherings have been banned now,” he noted.