The Deputy General Secretary and Member of the Infectious Diseases Committee of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Titus Beyuo has called for a shortcode to replace the 10 digits telephone number for the COVID-19 emergency response service.
While acknowledging the importance of the COVID-19 emergency response number, Dr. Beyuo said a shortcode will discourage more infected people from going to the hospital.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, Dr. Beyuo said the 10 digits emergency response number was too lengthy and inefficient for its designed purpose, and most people will not be able to memorise it.
This he said might bring more people to the hospitals and worsen the spread of the pandemic.
“If you go to other countries, what they have done is that they have decided that don’t come into a hospital, call.
“Because if you’re a suspected case and you even walk into a hospital, by the time you take a folder and go through the system, you would have infected other people.
“So if you have a very efficient call system, it is something that I do not understand till date why we still have the very long numbers.
“I have made this personally known at various levels that by this time we should have a unique code which is very efficiently backed by very sophisticated IT system that almost everybody calls and gets through.
“But if you’re still using these long numbers, to give a number that’s ten digits, and people have to try and memorise it, and even when they call it is not going through, it makes that community mobilization bit difficult,” he explained.
His comments follow Ghana recording three more cases of the coronavirus less than 24 hours after five additional cases were reported. This moves the current confirmed cases from 16 to 19.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Patrick. Aboagye who made the revelation to host of Newsfile, Samson Lardy Anyenini said all three new cases were imported.
While two were reported from the Greater Accra Region, one was recorded in the Ashanti Region.