The Central Region now has a COVID-19 testing centre at Cape Coast in the Central region.
This means samples can be tested in the region and results received early for prompt clinical decisions.
The facility has been handed over to the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital.
The centre, set up with a support testing machine and accessories donated by Nalex Company, can run 16 tests in an hour and 216 in a day.
This brings to 44 the number of testing sites in the country.
There are PCR testing centres at the Ridge Hospital, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, all in Accra; the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the KNUST Hospital in Kumasi; Tamale and Ho.
Nalex Company also presented a laptop computer and accessories, a PCR machine and 500 COVID-19 test kits to the hospital.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the country would not let the virus run amok, adding that the national health directorate would put measures in place to fight the virus.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye indicated that Cape Coast was unique with huge schools, adding that the fact that previously there was no testing centre in the region was worrying.
He observed that the major challenge in the battle against the pandemic had been how to achieve real-time test results.
“Sometimes by the time the results were back, some had recovered, others had died or infected many more people,” he stated.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the government considered testing as an important step in combating the pandemic, adding that they would collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that testing centres were increased.
He advised the hospital management to explore other uses of the machine to maximise its benefits.
He warned that the pandemic was not over, and urged the public to continue to observe the relevant safety protocols.
The Central Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Akosua Agyeiwa Owusu-Sarpong, said it was prudent for the region to have its own testing centre to effectively deal with the virus.
She, therefore, commended the donors and the GHS for making it a reality.
She said the region still had 27 active cases of covid-19, stressing that the directorate would continue to attach great importance to managing the virus.
The Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, said he was hopeful the testing centre would be properly maintained in spite of its proximity to the sea.
The Managing Director of Nalex, Mr Nalesh More, pledged to support efforts to combat the virus with the training of personnel to man the machines.