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.
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.