The Deputy Health Minister, Bernard Okoe Boye says claims by some persons that government has abandoned contact tracing as part of measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are untrue.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Dr Okoe Boye said the process only slowed down in the past weeks after the country run out of reagents for testing.
“It is not true that contact tracing has been abandoned. Government policy of tracing testing and treating still remains, it is unfortunate that testing done on citizens some four weeks ago either delayed or did not arrive at all.
“This was due to the delay in the supply of chemical regents and some tool used in testing,” he said.
The Deputy Health Minister, who is also MP for Ledzokuku explained that as the whole world is chasing the same items from the same few companies that are into the production of the reagents during a time like this, a shortage should be expected.
He added, however that government has worked hard to resolve by securing the supply regents sufficient to do some 500,000 PCR test in the next few months.
The MP also told Parliament claims that government had refused to pay contact tracers qualifies as an inaccurate narration composed to create the impression that contact tracing has been abandoned.
“For the records the Ghana Health Service recruited 2,000 volunteers to help trace and test the 30,000 plus travelers who entered Ghana before the airports were closed.
“The assignment for these volunteers was to last for the three-week period of the lockdown. After the lockdown was lifted and most of the travelers traced and tested, the Ghana Health Service instructed district to discontinue their engagement with the contracted contact tracers and revert to the use of their community health nurses for the purposes of contact tracing,” he added.
These trained staff, he further explained, who were and are still on government payroll took over the task of contact tracing which they have been doing till date.
“The contracted provisional contract tracers had a defined assignment within a defined period and government has and is committed to honoring its part of the bargain,” he said.