A Virologist at the Kumasi Centre of Collaborative Research (KCCR) into Tropical Medicine, Dr Michael Owusu, says fear, stigma and anxiety are reasons persons diagnosed with Covid-19, are running away from being isolated.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Friday, the Senior Lecturer at the Department of Medical Diagnostics, KNUST, indicated that in some cases, the patients think the conditions at the isolation centre are not safe enough.
Therefore, he advised that patients must be psychologically educated to understand the significance of isolating themselves from others.
“We need to do a lot of psychological work on these individuals so that they appreciate who they are and appreciate the fact that, they are likely to endanger lives by their actions, then they will corporate with the officials,” he stated.
This comes after reports that a 46-year-old Nigerian, Simon Okafor, who has tested positive for coronavirus in the Upper West region reportedly absconded from the facility but was arrested and sent to the isolation Centre at the Upper West Regional Hospital.
According to the Regional Health Directorate, lack of space at isolation centres was the main reason the Health Service asked the Covid-19 patient to self-quarantine which he subsequently escaped.
But Dr Owusu was of the view that self-isolation and self-quarantine are initiatives that cannot be applicable in Ghana, particularly in the remote areas of the country.
He observed that when the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced coronavirus as a pandemic, people who travelled to the country did not adhere to government’s directive of self-isolation.
“It will take someone who is very disciplined to self –isolate. So many people were unable to undergo this process.”
He then suggested that specialised facilities should be acquired by government to isolate people who have tested positive or suspected cases.
Stressing on the importance of technology to the fight against coronavirus, the KNUST lecturer stated that mobile tracker could be used to track and locate individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus.
He explained the technology could demarcate zones for patients hence, should anyone break out of the specified zone the system is alerted.
“The more you have this number of people, the more difficult you would be able to keep track of them so the earlier we adopt this means the better for us.”