The number of persons confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 in Ghana now stands at 4,700.
As of Sunday, 494 people had recovered; 22 dead, five critically ill and 4,179 responding to treatment at various facilities.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who announced these when he addressed the nation on Sunday said the cases were from a total of 160,501 tests conducted nationwide so far.
Explaining the increasing number of cases, he said the more people tested for the virus, the more positive cases would be recorded to enable medical experts isolate and treat them.
“If you do not test people for the virus, you will not find the persons who are positive, let alone isolate them from the population and treat them, and prevent them from spreading the virus”, he said.
According to President Akufo-Addo, had the country not been proactive in undertaking enhanced contact tracing of infected persons, and had relied solely on testing persons who reported to hospital (routine testing), as done in other countries, the total case count would have stood at 1,413.
The additional 3,232 representing two-thirds of the population of positives, he said, would have been undetected, and still be within the population, unknowingly infecting others.
“I know some political actors will want you to believe that our current numbers represent a failure on the part of government. Do not begrudge them. They need to make such comments for their political survival”, he said.
The President noted that, the medical team handing the situation, were implementing a strategy of aggressively tracing because it was the surest way of rooting out the virus.
This, he said, had resulted in the low infection, hospitalisation and death rates, some of the lowest in Africa and the world which according to him meant that “certainly, they must be doing something right in Ghana.”
Following the administration of more tests per million people than any other African country, President Akufo-Addo announced that World Health Organisation had reached out to Ghana to share her sample pooling experience with other African countries to enable them advance their testing regimes.
“It is, thus, vital that we continue to maintain the measures of enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols to contain the spread of the virus, as they are the surest way to a quick return to a life of normalcy”, he said.
The President said the government would continue to engage with various groups in sectors including health, labour, religion and chieftaincy on the way forward towards the easing of these restrictions, so that social and economic lives could return to normal, whilst protecting lives at the same time.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR