Health Officer for the University Students’ Association of Ghana (USAG), Kofi George Merkel Abuah has called on the government and the relevant stakeholders to procure enough of Rapid Diagnostic Test kits to facilitate the mass COVID-19 testing of students.
He notes that there are higher risks of asymptomatic patients infecting others before possible contact tracing is done; a situation he attributes to the unavailability of testing kits as many final year students don’t get tested upon reporting.
“Mass screening for students and those who test positive, this is not happening because Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) are not available. Asymptomatic students may infect others before they are picked up by the contact tracing team. To avoid this, the government should procure RDT kits for this purpose,” he said.
He added that using the Polymerase Chain Reaction for testing students is costly, thus, usually leading to sets of backlogs when there are no adequate materials to be used.
Mr. Abuah is therefore advocating for the authorization of more district labs that have the Gene X’pert Machine for testing Tuberculosis to run tests for the virus to ease the pressure at the few test centers across the country.
His comments follow the recent spike in COVID-19 positive cases recorded in some senior high schools after the President ordered that they resume academic activities to pave way for final year students to prepare and sit for their exit examinations.
Earlier, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in a statement to acknowledge concerns and calls from sections of the public, demanding the use of RDT kits to test for the coronavirus disease, said these test kits are based on the detection of antibodies in blood or serum of people believed to have been infected with the virus.
Story by: Seyram Abdallah | universnewsroom.com