Gov’t tightens restriction as COVID-19 cases rise to 6

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The Ghana Health Service has confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 bringing the country’s total to 6, as global apprehension over the virus continued to increase.

This was revealed by the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, at a press briefing held jointly with the Ministry of Information after the first two cases of the virus was first confirmed.

“The first is a 56-year old man, a Ghanaian who returned from a trip to the UK on the 4th of March. He stayed in the UK for 10 days and came back. He developed symptoms on the 12th of March and reported to a hospital in Obuasi.”

“The case definition met the case of that of suspected COVID-19. Samples were taken and sent to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) and within a short time, the lab reported that this is another confirmed case of COVID-19 within the country.”

The second is a woman, a Ghanaian student. She traveled out to the USA and stayed there for about 10 days. She came back on the 9th of March and on the 13th of March, started having symptoms.

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“Samples were taken to Noguchi on 13th and the same day we had a report from Noguchi that confirmed this as another case of COVID-19.”

Both patients, according to Dr. Badu Sarkodie, have been isolated and being treated.

Dr. Badu Sarkodie also announced that on 14th March 2020 two additional cases were confirmed and are all Ghanaians aged 42, and 41 who traveled into the country this month.

He said a total number of 151 contacts have been traced to four individuals who have been confirmed with the novel coronavirus in Ghana.

“For the first four cases, contact tracing has started. We just confirmed the last two cases over the night and we have started mechanisms to identify the contacts.”

“With case 1, we have identified two contacts and all the contacts are being traced. With case 2, the Norwegian, we have identified 107 contacts and we have started processes to follow up on 68 of them. We will be in touch with the rest by the close of today.”

“Case 3 is a student and for now, we have identified 12 contacts. We are still in the process to work assiduously to get more. And with the last case, the place of residence is Obuasi.”

“Currently, we have identified 30 contacts and all the 30 contacts are being followed up,” he said.

The government has strongly cautioned travelers against coming into the country following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus after four more cases were recorded and bringing the total number of confirmed cases to six.

This was made known by the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah when he addressed the media on Sunday, March 15, 2019.

“The government of Ghana is issuing a traveling advisory this afternoon and these are as follows; first, all travel to Ghana is at this stage strongly discouraged until further notice.”

“Secondly, any traveler except with Ghanaian citizen and persons with a resident permit, who within the last 14 days has been to a country that has recorded at least 200 cases of the coronavirus will not be permitted into the Ghanaian jurisdiction.”

“Airlines are instructed not to allow such persons to embark and border posts are instructed not to allow such persons into the country.”

He also announced that there will be a “mandatory 14 days self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the country.”

“Guidelines for the self-quarantine will be available at the various Ghanaian port of entry,” he said.

The government has also dedicated a web portal to update Ghanaians on the outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ghana.

It said the website will be updated every six hours with statistics and other relevant information concerning the outbreak in the country.

The portal is http://ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

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