The Ghana Health Service Director-General, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has downplayed concerns that non-coronavirus cases are being turned away from public hospitals because of pressure on such facilities.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said there was no policy to prioritise coronavirus cases.
“All facilities have designated cases for COVID. You don’t turn your entire ward into a COVID space so I don’t know how that could happen and we have not given such a policy.”
“We still have other cases which are equally of concern that we are dealing with,” he added.
The GHS boss was responding to reports that some persons seeking health care were struggling to get attention at public hospitals.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye also assured that hospitals handling coronavirus cases were not overstretched amid the recent surge in infections.
“We have an increasing number but it is a dynamic situation. Some get discharged. Some get admitted.”
He admitted that Ghana was currently at “a point we never reached before but as we speak now, people are getting admitted and people are getting discharged.”
The main challenge he singled out was the space in Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
“Where we have a challenge is the care for the critical cases where people occupy ICU beds for a longer time,” Dr. Kuma-Aboagye noted.
At the latest count, Ghana had 79 of its active cases in a severe condition, with 29 in a critical condition.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye stressed that a behaviour change in terms of people adhering to COVID-19 protocols will be significant in driving down the cases.
He added that more stringent measures could be pursued if there isn’t an improvement in adherence to safety protocols.
The recent surge in infections has seen 616 new cases move Ghana up to 3,813 active cases from 1,330 cases on January 8.
The GHS has recorded 377 deaths from the virus out of 62,751 confirmed cases whilst 58,561 persons have recovered or been discharged after infections.