Contact tracers in the Ashanti Region have embarked on a strike after their allowances were slashed in half, leaving over 16,000 positive COVID-19 contacts untracked.
The contact tracers agreed on a daily stipend of Ghc150 with the government to carry out their jobs but after receiving their first monthly payment, they were paid GHc70 – a more than 50% reduction – for their 2nd month of work.
Despite all attempts to get a response from the government, they have been ignored, forcing them to go on strike since June 2nd, 2020.
Since their strike, no contacts of newly infected COVID-19 patients have been traced, leaving over 16,000 potentially infected people roaming around free in the Ashanti Region.
The strike comes at the same time Ghana’s COVID cases continue to exponentially rise, raising fears the two could be related.
In an attempt to get things back on track, the Coalition of Contract-tracers has reached out to the President to seek a resolution to the impasse.
A letter addressed to the President from the group reads, in part: “For your information, Mr President, contact-tracers in the Ashanti Region have not been working since 2nd of June 2020 to date.
“In effect, it means some 16,530 contacts are not being followed, which has the tendency of increasing our cases by some 33,060. With all these disturbing possible situations, it’s very surprising that no one is saying anything or responding to us.”