Ghana is ranked among the top 20 countries in the world testing for coronavirs in terms of per capita.
What this means is that Ghana is one of the leading countries in the world embarking on massive testing for COVID-19 as far as country’s population and rate of testing is concerned.
With a population of about 30 million people, Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who chairs Ghana COVID-19 Monitoring Team, revealed the country has so far tested nearly 40,000 people as at April 11, making Ghana the number one ranked country in Africa in terms of COVID-19 testing per capita, and number two on the continent behind South Africa in terms of number of people tested.
Speaking at at the launch of GH COVID-19 Tracking App (an app for tracking cases and tracing contacts of confirmed cases), Vice President Bawumia attributed Ghana’s high and rapid tests to the availability of data through technology and government’s determination to chase the virus.
“Data is our most powerful weapon in the fight against Covid-19. You cannot fight what you cannot see,” said Dr. Bawumia.
“Our focus has been on tracing, testing and treatment, as well as social distancing and these have been made possible through data from special COVID-19 apps we have developed,” added the Vice President.
Ghana’s COVID-19 response has been internationally hailed, and available data from various international COVID-19 tracking sources, show the government of Ghana has taken more decisive and swifter action than many developed countries in the world did within a month of confirmed cases.
For instance, while it took the United States nearly two months after its first confirmed case to declare a national emergency, the government of Ghana banned all public gathering in Ghana just four days after the confirmation of Ghana’s first case on March 12, 2020.
And with testing and contact tracing of confirmed cases proven to be one of the most effective ways of dealing with the spread of the Coronavirus, Ghana’s nearly 40,000 tests within a month of its first confirmed case is higher than tests conducted by the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom within six weeks of their first official case.
According to data by United States’ Centre for Disease Control, the United States, as at March 8, had tested only 1707 and that was more than six weeks after its first case was confirmed on January 21.
By the same data, Japan had tested 8411 people in six weeks after confirming its first case on January 20, while the United Kingdom tested 23,513 cases in six weeks after confirming its first case on January 29.
Experts have attributed Ghana’s fast-rising COVID-19 cases among African countries to the government’s commitment to strict quarantine regime of foreign contacts, as well as its mass tracing and testing of contacts of confirmed cases.
While launching the COVID-19 tracking app, Dr. Bawumua reiterated government’s quest to combat the virus, adding that the app will significantly boost the efforts of government and health workers.
The introduction of the app, which provides movement and contact information of suspected individuals through mobile networks, is expected to increase Ghana’s testing as more contacts will be traced through the app.