Six Senior High Schools and one nursing training college in the Western Region have recorded a total of 56 COVID-19 cases.

This was disclosed to Citi News by the Western Regional Director of Health, Dr. Jacob Mahama.

According to him, 309 samples were picked from the seven institutions, which included the Asankragwa Nursing and Midwifery Training School, for testing.

He noted that 56 of the samples came out positive for COVID-19 adding that 139 others are currently pending testing.

“As at now, we have 309 samples take from six Senior High Schools and the Asankragwa Nursing and Midwifery Training School. They have positive cases that amount to 56 positive cases. 149 are negatives and 139 are still pending. The school with the largest positives is Nsei SHS which has 26 positives out of 78 samples taken there. Archbishop Porter Girls has 2 positives, Adiembra (2), St. John’s (1), Ahantaman (1), Shama SHS (18) and Asankragwa Nursing and Midwifery Training School (6). What we did was that we picked the contacts and samples to the laboratory. We are yet to hear anything about disinfection of these schools,“ he said.

56 SHS, nursing training students in Western Region test positive for COVID-19 1
Western Regional Director of Health, Dr. Jacob Mahama

On the overall samples awaiting testing in the region, Dr. Jacob Mahama told Citi News that the situation is disturbing as the region has 4,095 pending out of 14,000 total samples taken.

“As a region, we have taken 14,000 samples and sent all to the laboratory. 8,695 are negative, 2,218 are positive and 4,095 are still pending. As you know, we run out of reagents as a country and the reagents are in and they are currently doing the distribution to the various laboratories. As I speak, my people have been given an order to bring their request which was sent yesterday and they are waiting to be called to go for theirs.”

On claims that some samples had been destroyed due to inadequate storage capacity, the Western Regional Director said he was not aware of such situation but said that could only happen in the districts and not the metropolis.

He said the Takoradi Veterinary Laboratory which is currently doing 150 samples a day instead of 300 can finish the pending samples within 10 days when it receives reagents.

“I’m not aware of samples that have gone bad. Not in our labs, maybe in the districts. As long as they are in the refrigerator, it cannot go bad or expire. All that we know is that our fridges are full. What they do now is that they send some of the samples to KCCR or Accra. For instance, the samples we are taking from the SHS are sent straight to Accra for test. If we get the reagents and more staff, they can reduce the 4,000 backlog to an appreciable minimum within 10 days.