Director of Ghana Health Services in the northern region, Dr John Bertson Eleeza

Director of Ghana Health Services in the northern region has cautioned residents of the area not to be complacent about the situation of the novel corona virus pandemic in the region. 

The northern region has recorded ten confirmed cases of the pandemic virus which involves some West African nationals from Burkina Faso and Guinea.

They have since been on mandatory quarantine and responding to treatment.

However, in an interview with after a maiden media briefing in Tamale on Thursday, 16 April, Dr John Bertson Eleeza explained that even though the region is yet to record any more cases, people must not be complacent or start jubilating.

He said, “the mere fact that we have not gotten any more cases and even their contacts being tested positive shows that we have contained them and then have taken care of their contacts. If there would be any case, it may come from elsewhere and not necessarily related to this.”

“The good thing is if they had infected any other persons, we have passed three times the incubation period and so if there were other cases that would’ve been linked to them, they would’ve manifested by now” he explained.  

Cross section of Journalists at the maiden edition of the Ghana Health Services briefing on the novel corona virus pandemic

Through the 10 cases that were recorded, about 72 persons who included healthcare workers at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Security officers and some nine individuals in the Tamale metropolis were isolated following the contact tracing exercise.

However, they were tested negative after an examination was done on their blood samples.

Additionally, some 247 rumour cases have also been investigated in the northern region, according to authorities of the Ghana Health Service.

Nevertheless, Dr John Bertson Eleeza said the region is not out of the woes yet because there is a situation where there are many people who are asymptomatic and explained such people do not show any signs but when tested are positive.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury as a country and therefore as a region to do voluntary testing of all our people to say that yes we have tested our people and they are all negative and not affected and therefore we can start jubilating. Not until we have the opportunity for us to test a large majority of them to show that they are negative, for now as region and as a country we cannot talk about being able to contain the virus” he stated.

Post treatment results

The Ghana Health Service has disclosed samples of the nine cases being treated have been taken and the post treatment results shows six of them have tested negative and the remaining three tested positive again. 

Dr Eleeza disclosed the kidney patient who was also a confirmed case is among those who have tested negative.

He assured that, the healthcare workers in the region are safe and adequately equipped to discharge their duties to the state.

Stigmatization of corona virus infected persons

He urged the media to collaborate with the Ghana Health Service and state bodies aggressively address and demystify the social canker. 

He said the coronavirus is just like any other disease infections such as malaria and common cold that people usually experience, therefore, there is no need to stigmatize anybody on it.