The latest figures released by the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed that more women have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the Ashanti Region than men.
This is a departure from the national trend where more men have tested positive for the disease than women in Ghana.
Out of the total 886 cases recorded in the region as of Wednesday, May 20, 462 of them representing 52 per cent were women whilst the remaining 423, representing 48 per cent were men, reports Graphic Online’s Ashanti Regional reporter, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor.
A week ago in the Ashanti Region, the figures showed that more men had tested positive than women, but that position has changed in the last one week.
The majority of the reported cases are from Obuasi where more women have tested positive than men.
Out of the total number of infected people in the Ashanti Region, 30 of them have been identified as health workers, who according to the authorities, are doing well and responding to treatment,
According to the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate, the index case that spread the virus within Obuasi was someone who was operating close to a market and had contact with more women than men.
This, according to the experts, accounted for the higher number of women contracting the virus than men.
At a press briefing Wednesday, (May 20, 2020), the Ashanti Regional Health Director, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang said as of Wednesday, May 20, 2020, a total of 886 cases had been recorded in the region with the Obuasi Municipality and Obuasi East District recording 381 and 206 cases respectively.
The Obuasi area alone has a total of 587.
Out of the total cases, the Regional Director said 48 people cannot be traced after their samples were taken.
He said when the team visited their places of residence, they could not be found and when they were reached on phone, some said they had travelled out of the region while others claimed the numbers were wrong.
Dr Tenkorang said they suspected the discrimination and stigmatisation of people who have recovered from Covid-19 were the reasons why many people do not want to report for treatment.
“If that is the way we will drive the agenda of Covid-19, with stigma, fear and discrimination, we will not achieve any result.”
He said the current situation in Obusai was affecting even traders who were being stigmatised by people from the adjoining districts.
“We have had opportunity to have interactions with some members of the community even with those who are operating in other towns, they said anytime they go round and they say they are from Obuasi, then it becomes another issue. People don’t want to sell to them,” he remarked.
He thus advised the public to stop the stigmatisation of the people as “it is through no fault of theirs that they have the infection.”
He also called on the media to try as much as possible, not to create any situation that would breach confidentiality and also cause fear and panic and stigmatisation so far as the fight against Covid-19 is concerned.
He said all those who have been confirmed positive, sick or have mild infections have been admitted at the region’s treatment centres while those with no symptoms at all “are being managed in four of the isolation centres: two in Obuasi and two in Kumasi.”
Notwithstanding the high number of cases, Dr Tenkorang said the rate of new infection in the region was declining as compared to what happened previously and attributed the plateauing of the figures to the work of the political heads of the assemblies and the level of compliance by the residents.
He said the infection rate within Kumasi metro and Greater Kumasi is one of the lowest in the country and commended the residents for observing the safety protocols and urged them to continue with it as “we are not yet out of the woods.”
“The number of new cases that we are having are not as many as that we recorded in April. So that means that whatever we are doing, we doing it right and we should continue to do it and adhere to the protocols and guidelines and I believe that God willing, we will overcome,” he said.