The Ghana Health Service released new updates on the Coronavirus two days ago. Number of deaths stood at 85 while total number of Coronavirus infections were over 14,000.

One of the numbers that struck the eye was the number of recoveries which put a loft of people into disbelief. The number of recoveries shot up from a little over 4,000 to 10,473.

Explaining the reason for the sudden surge, health officials said they acted in line with the WHO’s new guidelines in discharging patients and management of the virus.  The world health management body said new findings have revealed that asymptomatic patients can’t transmit the virus.

The President further explained in his 12th address to the nation. He said: “Our approach to dealing with the virus, as I have always said, will be informed by the evolving science and data. At the outset of the pandemic, the scientific community and the World Health Organisation (WHO), on 12th January, 2020, recommended two main criteria for declaring someone who has tested positive as having recovered from the disease. The first is that you no longer have symptoms, and the second is that you are no longer capable of infecting others. Initially, the scientific thinking was that, as long you continue to test positive, you are capable of infecting others. Hence, the requirement for the two consecutive, negative tests before you are declared as having recovered. This was the science that informed the guidelines that Ghana has, so far, followed. However, there is now new evidence which states that, after ten (10) to fourteen (14) days, a person, with no symptoms, is unlikely to transmit the virus to others, even if the person continues to test positive. It is on this basis that WHO has updated its guidelines, as published per its Clinical Management of COVID-19 Interim Guidance, of 27th May, 2020, “as part of the clinical care pathway of a COVID-19 patient”. According to WHO, asymptomatic patients, i.e. those who have tested positive for the virus, but are not exhibiting any symptoms after fourteen (14) days, “are not likely to be infectious, and, therefore, are unlikely to be able to transmit the virus to another person”. After three (3) weeks of analysing and studying this update and recommendation, and situating it in the Ghanaian context, in line with the admonition by WHO to Member States, this new patient discharge/recovery policy has now been adopted by Ghana, as have some countries in the European Union, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and in Dubai.”

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“As at Saturday, 20th June, the total number of positives, cumulatively, stands at fourteen thousand, and one hundred and fifty-four (14,154), out of the two hundred and seventy thousand, three hundred (270,300) tests conducted. Under the revised policy, five thousand, nine hundred and twenty-five (5,925) persons have recovered and been discharged. This brings the total number of recoveries to ten thousand, four hundred and seventy-three (10,473). The number of active cases is, thus, three thousand, five hundred and ninety-six (3,596). In our hospitals and isolation centres, we currently have twenty-four (24) persons severely ill, six (6) persons critically ill, with four (4) persons on ventilators. Eighty-five (85) persons have, regrettably, died.”

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The President admonished the general public in his speech not to discriminate or stigmatize the recovered patients. He called on Ghanaians not to lose the “sense of community”.

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