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Ashanti Region to begin covid-19 contact tracing

The Ashanti Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has disclosed that the region has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases following the confirmation of 55 new cases in one week.

As a means of stemming the spread, the Directorate is set to begin massive contact tracing, Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang has said.

Dr. Tenkorang in a Citi News interview said the Directorate is worried the number of cases will escalate in the coming days as many residents do not adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols.

“The cases in the Ashanti Region are going up. As of Friday, January 15, 2021, we have a total active case of 104, but last week our active cases were 79 so the new cases that we’ve added for this week are 55. That means that the cases are really going up. You remember that we have come out of the Christmas and New Year holidays. There were a lot of activities in the course of the festivities. So we believe that, that is one reason why the cases are going up. But we are also worried because we’ve realized that a lot of people are not adhering to the protocols and the guidelines that have been given to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak and this is a major issue”.

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“In fact, the three pillars, that’s the enhanced hygiene, the social distancing and the wearing of a face mask are becoming a very big challenge for us. As we go out, we’ve realized that the wearing of a nose mask has gone down and a lot of people have disregarded the social distancing protocol and the hand hygiene protocol. We don’t see the Veronica buckets, we don’t see the sanitisers, but until we get the vaccine, that is the only way that we can use to prevent the outbreak”, Dr. Tenkorang added.

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The Directorate says the reactivation of contact tracing in the region is also to properly track cases that may potentially arise in various schools as educational facilities reopen in the coming days.

Part of the measures is that, each school has been linked with a health facility to aid in the management of potential cases.

“We are taking this opportunity once again to encourage our people to adhere to the protocols especially now that the schools are going to be reopened. Because the social interaction and other issues especially overcrowding and other things are going to increase and for that reason, we need to also strengthen surveillance so that any case that is detected, the contact tracing team will follow up, identify the case, look at the contacts and then manage the contacts. So in the Ashanti Region, it is our plan to reactivate the contact tracing team so that at least the contact tracing team will follow up on all cases, if there’s the need to do testing, then we can do it.”

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Dr. Tenkorang said the treatment centres are gradually getting stretched and as a result, if more cases are recorded it could pose a huge challenge to health facilities in the region as fatigue is setting in.

—citinewsroom