Deputy General Secretary and Member of the Infectious Diseases Committee of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Titus Beyuo

Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), has called on the government change certain strategies essential in understanding and containing the Covid-19 pandemic as the fight against the virus rages on.

This comes on the back of some 480 new Covid-19 cases announced by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

These new cases and 70 from other regions have pushed Ghana’s overall tally to 2,719.

The Service says 65 more people have recovered from the disease, increasing that tally to 294.

The graphical representation of this information on the GHS website also indicates that the death toll remains at 18 as of May 5, 2020.

But Dr Titus Beyuo is skeptical as to whether the web portal reflects the differences in the nature of the deaths recorded so far.

“I think that while we keep our eyes on the figures that are popping up and analyzing them, non-Covid deaths are another aspect that we have to be looking at, in hospitals, out of hospitals and then the associated factors. When the facilities are reporting we really need to go into it. What defines Covid-related death?” he quizzed on JoyNews‘ PM Express Monday.

Acknowledging the complexity in what he describes as collateral damage in the fight against Covid-19, a virologist with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr Michael Owusu said that “we need to weigh this against the baseline number of deaths that usually occur so that we don’t overly extrapolate this and say that because of the Covid situation, we have had quite a number of deaths.”

GMA’s Deputy General Secretary Dr Titus Beyuo called for improved turnaround time for ongoing tests to help in making critical decisions.

He also encouraged the accelerated provision of information surrounding cases especially in respect of updates.

“There are a few things when you see, it begs the question of whether there are no post-analytical delays that can be reduced. I cited an example for you where a regional coordinator will hold a press conference announcing that the certified results we have received from the lab show that our number is ‘x’. And on the Ghana Health Service platform, the number is still ‘y’ and it remains so for four days,” Dr Beyuo said.