Coronavirus: 15 suspected cases all negative – Agyeman Manu

Ghana’s laboratory tests on all its 15 suspected cases of Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19, tested negative.

“Samples have been taken from all of them and sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for tests and results have been negative,” The Ministry of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, said in a statement on Thursday.

The minister explained that emergency preparedness response and surveillance have been heightened, with further strengthening of border controls to prevent the entry of persons carrying the virus.

Also, key stakeholder engagements have been extensive with health and security agencies roped in to manage the situation.

Covid-19, which emerged in Wuhan, China, has claimed the lives of 1,350, with almost 60,000 infections, in total, at the epicentre of the outbreak.

China’s Hubei Province accounts for more than 80% of overall Chinese infections and the virus has spread to at least 25 countries across the globe.

The virus is yet to reach Africa with several suspected cases in Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire and Kenya testing negative.

Mr Agyeman Manu is optimistic that Ghana’s strategy will be effective in tackling an outbreak.

“Our prevention and control mechanisms cut across strengthening surveillance internally and at points of entry, case management, risk communication and social mobilization, coordination, laboratory testing and logistics support”.

The Ghanaian authorities said, they are in touch with Chinese officials and so far, “not a single Ghanaian in China or elsewhere on the globe has been affected”.

US, France, Egypt, Canada, Philippines, Singapore, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Kazakhstan and Thailand have evacuated their citizens. Switzerland, Russia and the Netherlands are making preparations to send their citizens home.

Some 400 Ghanaian students in Wuhan out of the over 6,500 studying in China have called for evacuation but the government has not taken a decision. The minority is piling pressure with a three-day ultimatum elapsing on Friday to compel the Ghana government to go and bring the students.

However, the ministry said: “Ghana is much concerned about our citizens in China, especially the Ghanaian students, and is working to ensure their protection, safety and wellbeing as we continue to supply basic needs”.

“We want to assure the public that, as per the management of all outbreaks, which is a dynamic activity, we will continue to monitor the situation and act as appropriate,” the release added.

Non-essential travels from Ghana to China has also been discouraged.

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