The Ministry of Health has received 10,000 pieces of COVID-19 testing machines with accompanying reagents from NILEX Company Limited, a multi-national company that deals in medical equipment.
This brings to 20,000 pieces the number of antigen testing machines NILEX has presented to the country, having donated 10,000 pieces to the Ghana Health Service last week.
The company had earlier supported the national COVID-19 response with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to facilitate COVID-19 testing. Those machines are already in use.
The Managing Director of NILEX, Mr Nilesh Moore, presented the machines to the ministry in Accra last Friday.
After the presentation, the Director of Legal Services of NILEX, Mr Alex Osei-Owusu, said the antigen testing machines were to boost national mass testing capacities, especially with the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
He said the antigen-based testing equipment had, however, become necessary because they were an improved technology to speed up the testing turnaround time to ensure that the country had adequate capacity to deliver should the need for mass testing arise.
He said the machines had been developed to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus in not more than 15 minutes.
Mr Osei-Owusu said the gesture was part of the continuous support from the company and its principals to the country since the outbreak of the pandemic.
He said the donations were also in response to appeals by the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, to the private sector to support the national fight against COVID-19.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, who received the items, expressed gratitude to NILEX for the gesture.
“Once again, this is a demonstration of a responsibility to give back to society. Since the inception of the pandemic we have received support from many benevolent individuals, institutions and development partners, and we are grateful to all such persons and institutions,” he said.
Abide by rules
He advised the public to abide strictly by the COVID-19 safety protocols, saying that was the game changer in the previous waves of infection.
He said although the vaccines were helpful, it was only a complementary measure, and that it would be more effective if combined with strict adherence to the protocols.
He said unfortunately, there had been a huge rise in cases and deaths characterised by severely ill cases because adherence to the protocols had gone down drastically.
He said adhering to the protocols was very critical and the most efficient way of limiting the spread of the virus.
“Vaccines are additional protective measures, but as we have been made to understand, that alone will not prevent you from being infected although nothing will happen to you if you get infected. All the interventions are effective when used together.
“I beg of you to continue to wash your hands, wear your face mask and keep the social distancing rule so that we all can be safe. That is the only way we can beat the virus as a country. Let us err on the side of caution because the figures are skyrocketing again,” the minister said.