Bernard Okoe Boye, a Deputy Minister of Health, has disclosed that the Government of Ghana has so far spent $35 million on testing 346,990 COVID-19 suspected cases.
He added that the amount is not part of the expenditure on the expansion of testing capacity.
Dr Okoe Boye, who represented the Minister of Health, made the revelation when he updated Parliament on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation on Monday.
He said the cost of one Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) test, on average, was US$100 for a suspected case.
The PCR tests were used to detect the genetic information of the virus and also give an indication of the person who is infected with the disease, Dr Okoe Boye added.
He said Ghana has done 346,990 tests with a positivity rate of 7.9 per cent.
He said the number of tests done per million of a country’s population gives an indication of the commitment of the country towards fighting the pandemic.
He said the higher the test per million population, the more reliable the picture painted for that country.
Dr Okoe Boye stated that Ghana’s total case count, as of July 16, 2020, stood at 27,667, with 148 deaths, 23,249 recoveries with an active case count standing at 4,270.
He said Ghana’s mortality rate, deducing from the statistics, is 0.5 per cent, meaning for every 1,000 cases of COVID-19, Ghana could record five deaths.
He, however, said Ghana’s COVID-19 death rate remains one of the lowest in the world, adding that the more efficient management of COVID-19 in a country, the lower the mortality rate.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, in a remark, charged Ghanaians to interrogate government for its handling of the pandemic since the disease does not discriminate in terms of one’s party colour, affiliation, and economic status.
“Ghanaians have a responsibility to interrogate what government is doing because COVID-19 does not attack as a result of one’s party colour, affiliation and economic status,” he added.
He urged the citizens to hold government accountable in terms of monies approved by the legislature to help fight the disease.
Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie, Member of Parliament for Asokore, lauded the government for the effective management of the coronavirus disease.
He said the country’s mortality rate, which was low, is not just by divine intervention, but as a result of good decisions, better protocols and the structures put in place by the government.
Dr Afriyie praised the government for maximizing the resources allocated to the pandemic efficiently. He challenged sceptics on the performance of the government to rather applaud it for putting in measures to contain the disease, with a mortality of 0.5 per cent.
He pointed out that other countries have average mortality rates above one per cent, saying that of Ghana is not just divine intervention, but due to real decisions that had translated into that achievement.