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Coronavirus: Korle Bu US-based Ghanaian woman tests negative

The US-based Ghanaian woman who was quarantined at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has not been infected with the novel coronavirus, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed.

“Just this afternoon, we received the report from Noguchi and the report is that it tested negative,” Director of Public Health at the GHS, Dr Badu Sarkodie, told Citi FM on Friday, March 6.

The woman had arrived in Ghana on March 1, 2020, from the US, where cases of the coronavirus have been recorded.

She went for gynaecological services at Korle Bu on Thursday, March 5, but was found to have an extremely high temperature, when her vitals were taken at the Maternity Ward, a statement issued by the Ghana Health Service said.

The woman was also suffering from mild respiratory problems, which prompted officials to investigate further. Health officials concluded that her condition met the case definition for the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.

She was then quarantined in a room on the 6th floor of the Maternity Block and her samples taken to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) for further tests.

Doctors and health officials who came into contact with her went into self-isolation to prevent further spread in case the virus was detected, it said.

However, the results proved negative for the deadly infection that has claimed over 3,200 lives with infections exceeding 100,000 globally.

This is the second suspected case at Ghana’s premier hospital since the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The first case involved two foreigners–a Chinese and an Argentine–who were both referred to from an undisclosed health facility in Accra. They were, however, cleared after laboratory tests showed an absence of the virus in their fluids.

So far, 46 cases tested in Ghana all turned negative for the COVID-19 disease. Eight countries have recorded cases in Africa, with the closest to Ghana being its West African neighbour Togo.

Over the last few weeks, Ghana’s health authorities insisted the country was armed enough to deal with an outbreak of the virus, but opposition MPs remain sceptical. The World Health Organisation also scored the country’s preparations ‘limited’.

While quarantine centres remain equipped as health officials prepare to handle a local outbreak, the health ministry has set up treatment centres at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and the Tema General Hospital.

Additionally,5000 personal protective equipment for health workers have been procured, while the government allocated GHC 2.5 million for the fight.

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