Experienced Biostatician and Lecturer at the Department of Biostatistics, University of Ghana, Dr. Justice Aheto, has cautioned Ghanaians not to rejoice over the ‘declining’ COVID-19 numbers.
According to him, the declining numbers are as a result of the government halting its aggressive contact tracing efforts.
The ‘numbers man’ made this revelation in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning Show. “Don’t be deceived that our numbers are declining. Government will give you declining figures but there is something wrong with the data.”
Explaining the rationale behind this decline, he noted that the government stopped its aggressive contact tracing exercise in June “and that is why the numbers are declining. The contact tracers also had to withdraw their services because they were not being paid,” he added.
The biostatistician furthered that a directive from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has led to individuals with asymptomatic conditions walking about freely.
“The GHS also instructed its officials to only test individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19.
“This directive means that people with the virus who show no symptoms are not tested and that is a huge source of worry. A lot of people who tested positive for the virus in Ghana were asymptomatic persons. So removing them from the testing pool is of high concern,” he said.
With over 90% of Ghanaians testing positive for the COVID-19 pandemic mostly being asymptomatic, Justice motioned that the GHS decision to test only symptomatic persons is flawed.
“If we decide to test symptomatic persons only for the COVID-19 virus, then you will see our numbers declining.”
“To determine someone as being positive or negative for COVID-19, there has to be testing,” he insisted.
Justice believes the country has been focused on doing things right rather than doing the right thing ever since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out in Ghana.
The worried Ghanaian added that the GHS is also classifying individuals asked to self isolate and recover under the same category which gives the wrong perception that the virus is under control in Ghana.
The latest update from the GHS website shows that Ghana has 856 active cases of COVID-19 with 280 deaths and 43,577 recoveries/discharges.