The Health Ministry has directed public laboratories in the country to drop all charges for Ghanaians who walk in for COVID-19 tests.
A circular by the ministry to labs, however, noted charges for foreigners should still be in place.
“The Ministry has decided that public COVID-19 testing laboratories providing walk-in services can charge only charge travellers for testing”.
“All other walk-in requests such as ill-health, contact tracing and exposure must be done free-of-charge using public health resources,” Acting Chief Director, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari said in the statement.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti regional directorate of the Ghana Health Service has disclosed a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in the region within a period of a month.
During the Christmas festivities, COVID-19 case tally in the region stood at 18 and however, increased to 79 on 13th January 2021 creating anxiety among the management of COVID-19 in the region.
Speaking to Ultimate News, Ashanti regional director of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, disclosed that COVID-19 case count in the region has sharply increased to 511 with Obuasi Municipality contributing to 40 of the total cases.
He said, 10 out of the total active cases are under critical condition at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) receiving intensive medical care.
The increased cases is partly blamed on social activities such as funeral, church gathering, among other social events without strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols in the region.
The latest data of 511 cases from the Ashanti regional directorate of the Ghana Health Service points to the fact that the holding centres are likely to be full if people continue to disregard all the protocols approved to fight the virus.
Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang is therefore urging Market women to adhere to all the protocols for personal and their client’s safety.
He cautioned Christian leaders to also limit their mass engagement in the church to check direct human physical contacts which have the ability to spread the virus easily.
He added that the government has established two additional testing centres located at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Agogo South hospital to support the work of KCCR which is testing majority of COVID-19 samples in the region.