The Ashanti Region may not have the capacity to handle additional exponential coronavirus infections as hospitals experience a shortage of beds.
At 2, 362 infections and 38 deaths, the Ashanti Region has the second-highest number of covid-19 infections after the Greater Accra Region.
Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, said on Wednesday, that “almost all the treatment centres are now full”.
The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the biggest referral centre in the region, has 18 beds while the Kumasi South hospital has 20.
But, “All the 38 beds are now full,” Dr Tinkorang bemoaned.
However, health facilities are woefully inadequate to handle critical cases, and health authorities are calling for immediate expansion.
The Komfo Anokye Hospital and the Kumasi South Hospital, the biggest health facilities, are occupied, raising fears of their ability to contain new cases.
Dr Tinkorang said ”they cannot contain” the current infections being recorded.
He continued: “Accra may have UGMC, they may have Korle Bu, they may have 37 Military Hospital, they may have police hospital. Ashanti, apart from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, we don’t have any facility that we can say, can manage severe and critically ill patients.”
Health officials are making frantic efforts to expand double the number of beds at the health facilities.
Additionally, Suntreso Government Hospital has also earmarked seven beds to all to the total while negotiations are ongoing to acquire private health facility to bring the entire number of beds to 138 beds.
He also raised concerns about the nature of the coronavirus, which was posing challenges leading to many health officials getting infected.
Most of the cases in the region are asymptomatic, and those with signs do not show the classic symptoms such as coughing and difficulty in breathing.
He said the coronavirus show malaria-like symptoms. By the time it will finally be determined as COVID-19,” a lot of health workers may have been exposed” to the virus.
He, therefore, called for a review of the signs and symptoms by the Ministry of Health (MoH).