A Ghanaian data analyst in Canada, Alfred Appiah, has questioned what he terms as discrepancies in the Covid-19 case count of the country.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, he highlighted the gaps in the figures and offered alternative measures for recording the number of cases.
This comes after he tweeted that some numbers were not accounted for in recent update of the number of recorded cases by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
Mr Appiah said with the difference of 1,513, the GHS announced 787 new cases leaving 726 cases unaccounted for.
How do we move from 35,501 to 37,014 and say we’ve recorded 787 new cases. How many tests were conducted between July 28 and 29? How many new recoveries/discharges in that period?— Alfred (@CallmeAlfredo) August 2, 2020
Ghana’s COVID-19 summary over the last 7 updates. The percentage of new tests that are positive continues to be high and well above the WHO’s 5% threshold. The 7-day average of that metric is currently 20.4%. The 7-day avg of new cases is 654. pic.twitter.com/3We6uNzoHo— Alfred (@CallmeAlfredo) August 2, 2020
He explained the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which gives a threshold that 5 per cent of conducted tests should be positive.
“The issue with Ghana is that currently, we are looking at the 20 per cent daily test positivity rate which is like the seven day average. There are days where there are more or less than 20 per cent but when we average over the seven days it gives us the 20 per cent I am talking about,” he told host of Joy SMS, Kojo Yankson.
According to him, the country is not conducting enough tests hence there will be more “undetected cases”.
Speaking further, he stated that failure to update the GHS website with the daily cases recorded makes it impossible to record the daily test positivity rate.
“We went from July 28 to July 30 and the Ghana Health Service reported that there were 787 new cases but on July 28 we had 35, 501 and on July 30 we had 37,014. The difference between that is not 787 it is about 1,514 cases so what that means it that there are cases missing for June 29 and it’s not on the website.”
“That is critical because if we are missing these daily numbers it would be impossible for us to calculate the daily test positivity rate. We can use some statistical analysis to do that but why should we do that if the data can be uploaded,” he explained.
He stated that he suspected the missing 726 cases are the cases for July 29 which were not published on the GHS website.
The data analyst noted that based on the new discharge policy, some new cases may not be added to the active cases.
Currently, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 37,812 with 34,313 and 191 deaths.