COVID-19: Ghana vaccinates 555,259 as death still stands at 744

At least  25 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) pushing the country’s active cases to 1,504.

The death toll  still stands at 744 after no additional death were recorded across the country , an update on the GHS COVID 19 dashboard reveals.

As at 30 March 2021, the GHS reports that the country’s total confirmed cases increased to 90, 674 out of which 88, 426  have recovered.

So far, 26 persons are in severe condition while 12 remain critical, according to GHS. Cases detected at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) are 1,332 with 1,233 recoveries.

Vaccination

So far 555, 259 persons have been vaccinated across the country as at 31  March 2021, the GHS said.

Breakdown of regional cases: 

Greater Accra Region – 50,047

Ashanti Region – 15,343

Western Region – 5,705

Eastern Region – 4,130

Central Region – 3,286

Volta Region – 2,374

Northern Region – 1,644

Bono East Region – 1,420

Bono Region – 1,314

Upper East Region – 1,305

Western North Region – 851

Ahafo Region – 703

Upper West Region – 484

Oti Region – 406

North East Region – 210

Savannah Region – 120

Ghana to begin COVID-19 antigen test

Meanwhile Ghana will soon introduce COVID-19 antigen test to improve and enhance testing for coronavirus, Prof William Ampofo, head of the virology department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) has said

Prof Ampofo said this was part of a national plan to make testing easily accessible throughout the country.

Presently, COVID-19 laboratories conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test only to manage the patients, while antigen screening and testing is done only at the airport.

Prof Ampofo said the government intended to have complimentary antigen testing together with PCR testing to enhance the COVID-19 testing process.

He said Ghana had received over 75,000 antigen test kits from the African medical supply platform from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was being validated by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

He said antigen testing was able to read and detect the COVID-19 virus and whole antigen particle quite fast.

“Antigen test also known as the rapid test is faster and cheaper than the PCR. The PCR can take about three hours to detect a virus which the antigen test does in 15 minutes” he said.

He said the FDA had reviewed and registered about four devices for antigen test.

Professor Amfopo said when rolled out, antigen testing would be done under the educational programme where health facilities had been marked to schools so that suspected cases could be quickly screened and tested for timely interventions.

“One thing we know about antigen and PCR testing is that, when you are infectious and producing the virus particle, the antigen is positive so at that time antigen test complements that PCR test,” he noted.

An antigen test also referred to as a rapid test detects protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus.

It can be done in a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital. Turnaround time for results is usually very quick and in some cases, results can be reported within 15 minutes.

PCR test on the other hand detects genetic materials that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even those who have no symptoms.

The test can be done in a clinic, hospital, or even in your car. Turnaround time is longer, generally in the two to three-day range but results can be in as little as 24 hours. When demand is high, results can take a week or longer.

Fred Dzakpata

Gh Extractives

Ghextractives.com is an independent multimedia portal that seeks to provide credible information and news content to readers especially players in the extractive sector in Ghana, Africa and beyond. It also provides a unique platform for players in the energy sector to market their products and reach a wider audience

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