Sixty-eight per cent of Ghana’s COVID-19 cases are recorded through contact tracing, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, revealed in Accra.
He said of the 5,530 cases count recorded; 3,787 (representing 68 per cent) were through enhanced contact tracing surveillance, while 1,628 (32 per cent) were through general surveillance (those who reported to health facilities).
Mr Oppong Nkrumah made the revelation during the meet the press series organised by the Ministry of Information, to give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Minister said countries in Europe and the Americas, were reporting the general surveillance numbers; “that is people who had fallen sick and have come to the hospitals”.
He reiterated that those countries were not doing enhanced tracing and testing like what Ghana was doing.
“That is why for example if you take today’s numbers 5,530; if we were doing what everybody was doing, we will only be reporting 1,628, because that is a general surveillance numbers, that is those who have contacted the system to be tested,” he said.
He said Ghana had about 3,787 people through enhanced contact tracing; that is people who had been exposed to the virus, and the surveillance team had gone to search for them.
“We have been deliberately spiking our curve, it is a different strategy, because we want to find it early and deal with it. In so doing the majority of the 3,787 from what they tell us are not sick, they don’t have symptoms, but they have been exposed to the virus,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah stated.
“So, if you are going to work a quick mathematics out of that 3,787 out of 5,530 at the back of the envelope, that is about 68 per cent. So Ghana’s numbers 5,530 about 68 per cent of them are people that we went out to search for in the enhanced contact tracing,” he said.
He said trying to compare Ghana’s method of tracing the disease with other countries was like comparing oranges to apples.
Adding that Ghana’s formula for tracing the COVID-19 virus was very different.
“If you didn’t do enhanced contact tracing surveillance, they would have been in the community spreading (the disease).
“So, that by the time today, you are reporting 1,628, which is what you would have been, if we were doing general surveillance. You have about 5,000 or extra of about 4,000 in the community that you don’t know of, spreading it.”
He explained that by the time they would have found 4,000 (infected persons), 16,000 would also be out there spreading the disease.
“That is the wisdom in Ghana’s change in strategy to go for the enhanced contact and tracing. That we go out early, find these persons and give them the kind of support,” he said.