President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will later this evening [Wednesday] address the nation on the novel coronavirus which is fast spreading to most countries in the world.
The address is themed: “Coronavirus: Update on enhanced measures taken by government”
Although Ghana has not yet recorded any case, all its neighbouring countries; Togo, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso have reported cases of the virus.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has been labelled as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” the Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
The Coronavirus which was first detected at the Wuhan province of China in December 2019 has so far affected 118,000 people and claimed 4,200 lives worldwide.
Statistics In Africa
In Africa, a total of 97 cases have been recorded as at midnight on Monday, March 9, 2020.
Majority of the cases are in Egypt where 55 persons have been found to be with the virus and one person dying as a result.
In Algeria, 17 persons have caught the virus while in South Africa, seven have been recorded.
Senegal has four cases.
Official figures indicate that there are two persons each in Morocco, Cameroon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Tunisia who have the virus.
In neighbouring Togo and Ivory Coast, one case each has been reported in both countries.
Per Ghana’s preparedness plan for an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the state is operating along the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols.
Alerts have been sent to all regions to update their respective preparedness plans and activate their respective public health management committees.
So far, the Ridge Hospital and the Tema General Hospital have been earmarked as case management centres.
Four other facilities; the Ga East Hospital, the Police Hospital, the LEKMA Hospital and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital have been identified as additional facilities to support case management.
Technical support visits have also been undertaken by the Institutional Care Division (ICD) of Ghana Health Service and WHO to some designated facilities to assess preparedness.
Staff at the two identified treatment centres have also been given preliminary training in case management.
The country currently has testing capabilities for the virus at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research.
The United States government is, so far, also providing technical support and funding.
The National Technical Coordinating Committee has met twice to coordinate national preparedness activities.
A 100-bed capacity facility in a remote area to serve as a centre for quarantining persons with suspected coronavirus infection is being built.
Government is also putting up a 25-bed special facility with modern equipment to deal with the virus.
Ghana’s National Public Emergency Preparedness Plan has been updated and a draft COVID-19 preparedness plan has been developed.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed his satisfaction with the measures Government has put in place to deal with the threat of the COVID-19.