COVID-19: Noguchi monitoring discharged patients for antibody study
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research is keeping track of persons who are discharged under the new COVID-19 discharge protocols.
It is conducting a research study to establish if the discharged persons are able to develop antibodies against COVID-19.
According to Professor William Ampofo, the Head of the Virology Department at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, the study, which is being supervised by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health is showing some “some interesting results”.
He disclosed this on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at a press conference organised by the Ministry of Information.
Noguchi also wants to see if the Rapid Diagnostics Test (RDT) can their immune status.
“So this study is still underway, we are seeing some interesting results and we think that going forward, there will be the potential to use these rapid diagnostic tests that detect antibodies to be used alongside when persons recover from COVID-19,” Professor Ampofo said.
He further warned the public against buying fake Rapid Diagnostic Test kits.
“Let me emphasise that the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ministry of Health have not registered any RDT’s for diagnostic,” Professor Ampofo stressed.
“The FDA continues to evaluate commercial RDT’s that have been submitted and as soon as a suitable one that has high sensitivity and the ability to pick two negatives, then, of course, it will be recommended.”
The new discharge policy
Ghana reviewed its COVID-19 discharge policy to ease pressure on health facilities, among others.
Per the new policy, patients who are asymptomatic for 14 days from the initial positive test will be discharged without a further test.
For symptomatic patients, they are discharged if they have not symptoms after 14 days and go a further three days without any symptoms.
The change in policy is in line with revised guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The initial WHO policy was a test based strategy.