COVID-19 tests: Government to sanction private labs failing to share real-time data – Oppong Nkrumah

COVID-19 tests: Government to sanction private labs failing to share real-time data – Oppong Nkrumah

The government says it will not hesitate to withdraw the COVID-19 testing mandate of private laboratories that fail to provide real-time data on the people who patronize their service including those who test positive after the tests.

President Akufo-Addo during his 22nd address on measures taken against the further spread of the virus said some private laboratories have failed to share data of persons who test for COVID-19 on time.

The development the government believes is derailing efforts to trace COVID-19 contacts and treat infected persons.

The President’s representative at the Information Ministry, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the government will take action against laboratories failing to provide the needed information in real-time.

Among other measures, he said such errant facilities will be stopped from conducting COVID-19 tests.

“Part of the challenges we are having is that, there are a number of private labs which were licensed to conduct COVID-19 test because we wanted to expand our testing capacities and were expected to share in real-time all the data on persons who test and positives so that treatment and contract tracing can commence in real-time. Unfortunately, a good number of those labs have not lived up to that,” he said.

He added that the Ghana Health Service is deploying some of its staff to be stationed in some labs to ensure compliance.

“Now a new system is being put in place where the GHS is putting some staff members to some of these labs to help in the collation of these data and for those who persist in not uploading unto the platform that has been set up for this enterprise, sanctions will be applied. Those sanctions I’m informed include stopping them from conducting any further COVID-19 test.”

Meanwhile, the former Information Minister says the government is still open to giving more private labs the permission to test for COVID-19.

He says besides the enhanced testing programme, President Akufo-Addo expects the police service to draw a programme for enforcement of COVID-19 prevention protocols.

“The president’s expectation is that from this week, the IGP and the Police service will outline a clear programme for enforcement, and we will also get into enforcement mode from this week.”