The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has cautioned the public to be careful about imposters who are extorting money from people in the name of contact tracing.
It said the state was not charging any contact of COVID-19-infected persons money to have his or her sample taken and tested.
The caution comes on the back of incidents reported to the Daily Graphic that some unscrupulous persons were calling people to demand mobile money transfers from those people for them to undergo testing to know their COVID-19 status.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Head of the Public Relations Unit at the GHS, Mr Jacob Andoh, said: “We don’t take any money from anybody to take his or her sample; we have not sent any contact tracers to communities to take money from people either.”
He said district offices of the GHS had trained contact tracing teams that included a medical laboratory scientist to collect the needed samples at no cost to anybody.
“If anyone comes to you with such a proposal, please ask for his or her identity card and report him or her to the nearest police station. The sample taking and testing are at no cost to anyone,” he added.
The alleged imposters call people on their mobile phones and tell them that they had been pencilled in for contact tracing and testing but the kit for the exercise had run out and demand between GH¢40 and GH¢65, through mobile money transfer, for the kit.
The reports were received from people residing at Gbawe, Kasoa, Adenta and Ashaiman, where some contact tracing exercises had been going on.
The GHS said it was going to investigate the matter and bring perpetrators to book.
The GHS, through its official website, has indicated that since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded on March 12, 2020, a total of 2,032 contacts traced had tested positive, out of the total national confirmed cases of 3,091, as of the morning of May 8, 2020.