9 suspected Coronavirus cases negative after Noguchi tests

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has stated that all suspected cases of the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been negative after rigorous tests.

Two cases of suspected cases were recorded at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The seven others are samples from travellers entering the borders of the country who showed symptoms of the coronavirus at the point of screening.

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All the tests were carried out at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and showed no traces of the pathogens causing the pneumonia-like infection.

A statement from the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyeman-Manu on Thursday emphasized: “All of these cases have tested negative”.

The Ministry provided assurance that they are “collaboration with partners are doing everything possible to prevent and protect against the importation of the virus into the country and prevent the spread”.

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The virus has killed over 560 people and infected 28,018. The virus has spread over a large geographical area with 25 nations confirming a total of 191 cases, although there have so far been only two deaths outside mainland China.

The epicentre of the pneumonia-like infection, Hubei Province, has been under strict lockdown since January 23, 2020, affecting economic activities in the virus-stricken Asian country.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu has told parliament that the government has earmarked GHC 2.5 million to fight the infection.

He says public health emergency management systems have been activated at all levels.

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He said there have been stakeholder consultation involving the National Technical Coordinating Committee experts from the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, World Health Organisation, Veterinary Services Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Immigration Service, Security Agencies, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention among others, towards containing an outbreak in the country.

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Additionally, authorities have engaged the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana to regulate high risk travels to and from highly affected regions in China to Ghana.
He revealed that there is high active surveillance, case definitions development to identify and manage cases and training of health workers on the coronavirus are ongoing.
There is enhanced screening at heavy traffic entry points especially the KIA where travellers, especially from China, are required to undergo thorough checks before entry into the boundaries of the country.

Health declaration forms to extract salient information from travellers to access risk profile are applied to all international flights at KIA.

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