The absence of isolation centres to contain COVID-19 positive patients is hampering the fight against the pandemic in the Eastern Region as people who tested positive for the virus refuse to self isolate in their homes.
As stated by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) guidelines in tune with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, contacts who have been traced by the covid-19 surveillance team, are supposed to be quarantined for 14 days to confirm their status.
This according to Dr John Ekow Otoo, Eastern Regional Deputy Director, Public Health, said it was becoming a challenge since most of the contacts traced refuse to isolate themselves at home
Speaking at a Public Health Emergency Committee meeting on Covid-19 in Koforidua, he said the worrying aspect was that most of the contacts traced had been tested positive, yet, move about without observing the preventive protocols, especially the wearing of the facemask.
Dr Otoo said the contacts traced who have tested positive failed to isolate at home because of lack of strict supervision and logistics to ensure compliance.
The emergency meeting was called to discuss some immediate and practicable ways of enforcing the covid-19 preventive protocols in the region as there is a surge in recorded cases for the past few weeks.
He, therefore, called for strategic measures to get isolation centres in all districts to be able to supervise cases under quarantine.
He noted that some of the contacts when called, refuse to disclose their locations or avail themselves to be tested, adding, “all these issues need to be addressed to contain the situation”.
Although covid-19 units with dedicated beds have been provided in facilities, Dr Otoo noted that it was critical to have isolation centres to keep those traced to ensure that they do not infect others.
“Especially, as the preventive protocols are not being observed, we need to tighten our strategies,” he added.
Dr Winfred Ofosu, Eastern Regional Director of Health said there was a surge in the covid-19 cases in the Region and called for immediate solutions and strategies to be deployed to bring the spike down.
He explained that, if the current trend was not halted could overstretch the facilities and systems in the region and that would be dangerous.
He said the daily average cases had gone up drastically in the Region and emphasized that the immediate solution should be the enforcement of the protocols particularly wearing of the face mask, social distancing and the handwashing protocols to reduce the rate of infections.
All the 33 Municipal and District Assemblies in the Eastern Region have recorded cases of covid-19, yet, there is low adherence to the protocols especially the wearing of the face masks and the social distancing.
As of August 8, the Eastern Region has recorded over 5,200 cases of covid-19 including 2,555 new infections between January and August of this year and 1,135 health staff have been infected by the virus while six sadly have lost their lives.
In addition 5,268 contacts had been traced in the region, out of which 2,198 turned out positive while 461 of the cases had been recorded in some Senior High Schools.
Meanwhile, people are going about their businesses and activities without any recourse to the protocols.
The wearing of facemasks and observing social distancing and handwashing protocols are being defied at the markets, lorry parks and other social spaces.