Head of the Virology Department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Prof. William Ampofo
Head of the Virology Department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Prof. William Ampofo has revealed that the Ghana Health Service will introduce an electronic system called the Bar Code System which will allow for the geographical location of samples collected to be identified for testing and results transmitted electronically to the central database.
Prof. William Ampofo was speaking at a press briefing today, April 22, 2020 on an update of COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to him, the move would help the Institute to enhance testing and hopes that with this new system to be introduced, they can complete testing for results to be released before 24 hours.
“The Ghana Health Service is introducing what we call a Barcode System, we wish we had done this from the beginning. So each sample will have a barcode, the geographical location of where the sample is collected would be understood, the sample would arrive in the lab, the barcode would be read and then the results would be transmitted electronically from the lab back to the central database.”
He added that “this will therefore shorten the time and we will therefore be able to process many samples more efficiently. So we really welcome the introduction of this and we are grateful to the ministry of communications for helping to facilitate this process.”
Commenting on the number of tests conducted by Noguchi, Prof. Ampofo said as of April 21, 2020 the institute had processed 76,921 samples and have tested 70,921 with a backlog of about 6000.
He explained that the highest testing capacity by the country is because “there are four labs working together in Accra and just one in Kumasi with a staff strength of about 15 to 20. They are doing two shifts Day and Night but they have limited capacity while in Accra we have more PCR machines available and we have over 150 people working three shifts 24 hours in a week.”
Ghana’s COVID-19 cases
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Aboagye at the press briefing held today Wednesday, April 22, 2020 announced that Ghana’s COVID-19 cases have increased to 1,154 with 120 recoveries and number of deaths remains at 9.
This means that 112 new cases have been confirmed with 21 more people recovering since Sunday, April 19 when President Nana Akufo-Addo addressed the country.
“Under the general surveillance, we have 401 cases that have reported positive. We still have the 115 travelers quarantined and tested positive and enhanced contact tracing in the last three weeks, we have 638 positives, bringing the number 1,154 cases as at today, April 22, 2020. Out of this, we have had about 120 recovered, it changed from the 99 in the last reporting,” he said.