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Pan Afr Med J ; 41: 245, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1887334


COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of life and continue to exert significant psychological impact. A surge in suicide has been associated with all previous major epidemics and pandemics. The suicide rate associated with COVID-19 pandemic would continue increasing if urgent measures are not put in place. We report two cases of attempted suicide among confirmed COVID-19 patients. The first case is a 30-year-old nurse who attempted suicide in an isolation facility and the second case is a 43-year-old male who travelled with his wife and a trusted friend from Burkina-Faso to Ghana to access haemodialysis care for his wife in a COVID-19 pandemic era. Unfortunately, the couple tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We discussed interventions to prevent suicide in treatment facilities. We recommend psychological assessment and counselling for all COVID-19 patients. We also recommend social interaction among patients in the isolation or treatment centres, and active management of COVID-19 related stigma and misinformation. Screening for means of suicide should be conducted in treatment facilities. Pre-test and post-test counselling are essential interventions. Also, telemedicine, telephone calls, computer assisted psychotherapy, mobile applications, self-guided digital interventions have been identified as effective tools for administering psychotherapeutic interventions to COVID-19 patients particularly in instances where face-to-face may not be possible.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide, Attempted/prevention & control
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257450, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416901


INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), which started in late December, 2019, has spread to affect 216 countries and territories around the world. Globally, the number of cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been growing exponentially. There is pressure on countries to flatten the curves and break transmission. Most countries are practicing partial or total lockdown, vaccination, massive education on hygiene, social distancing, isolation of cases, quarantine of exposed and various screening approaches such as temperature and symptom-based screening to break the transmission. Some studies outside Africa have found the screening for fever using non-contact thermometers to lack good sensitivity for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection. The aim of this study was to determine the usefulness of clinical symptoms in accurately predicting a final diagnosis of COVID-19 disease in the Ghanaian setting. METHOD: The study analysed screening and test data of COVID-19 suspected, probable and contacts for the months of March to August 2020. A total of 1,986 participants presenting to Tamale Teaching hospital were included in the study. Logistic regression and receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis were carried out. RESULTS: Overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was 16.8%. Those with symptoms had significantly higher positivity rate (21.6%) compared with asymptomatic (17.0%) [chi-squared 15.5, p-value, <0.001]. Patients that were positive for SARS-CoV-2 were 5.9 [3.9-8.8] times more likely to have loss of sense of smell and 5.9 [3.8-9.3] times more likely to having loss of sense of taste. Using history of fever as a screening tool correctly picked up only 14.8% of all true positives of SARS-CoV-2 infection and failed to pick up 86.2% of positive cases. Using cough alone would detect 22.4% and miss 87.6%. Non-contact thermometer used alone, as a screening tool for COVID-19 at a cut-off of 37.8 would only pick 4.8% of positive SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. CONCLUSION: The use of fever alone or other symptoms individually [or in combination] as a screening tool for SARS-CoV-2 infection is not worthwhile based on ROC analysis. Use of temperature check as a COVID-19 screening tool to allow people into public space irrespective of the temperature cut-off is of little benefit in diagnosing infected persons. We recommend the use of facemask, hand hygiene, social distancing as effective means of preventing infection.

Body Temperature , COVID-19 , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Hand Hygiene , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Young Adult