The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has allayed fears of the presence of the deadly coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Ghana.
“So far no case recorded,” Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie, stated on Thursday as he emphasised that Ghana is making adequate preparations to tackle any outbreak.
Seventeen persons are reported dead in China where the recent outbreak was first recorded resulting in the lockdown of two cities – Wuhan and Huanggang. More than 500 cases of the virus have been confirmed. One patient is reported to have infected 14 health officials.
Four cases have been reported in Thailand, the highest outside China. Coronavirus has also been sighted in the US, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
Dr Sarkodie, who spoke in an interview with Joy FM on Thursday said the coronavirus is “close to Ghana as to any other country” hence adequate preparations to prevent any infections.
He said authorities have been engaging and actions have been taken in relation to surveillance, social mobilization, risk communication, case management, coordination and resource allocation.
Intensive screening has been instituted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for arrivals especially entries from China.
“We need to get our house in order as a country as regards to our preparedness and response,” Dr Sarkodie noted, adding: “infections somewhere is everywhere”.
He explained that the infection is “not localized [to China] and can go everywhere”.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have traced the origin of the new strain of the coronavirus to a seafood market in Wuhan, where wildlife is also traded illegally.
The general public has been advised to adhere to the following measures:
-Regular washing of hands with soap and water.
-Hand rubbing with alcohol is also advised where available.
-Keep a distance at least one step (one meter) from a person shows signs of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
-If contact with a sick person or with potentially infected surfaces or objects occurs, those involved must not touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
-It is advisable to be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, eat well, reduce stress and have enough sleep.
-People should seek treatment immediately if infection us suspected, if symptoms occur or when advised by a health worker.
-The Ministry of Health asks the general public and all stakeholders to support in efforts at preventing 2019-nCoV in Ghana.