Ghana intensifies coronavirus surveillance

Ghana has intensified surveillance of the coronavirus by subjecting all travellers, tourists and visitors coming through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to a vigorous screening exercise.

Personnel of the Ghana Health Service and the KIA take the temperatures of more than 2,000 passengers from across the world who come to Ghana through KIA on daily basis before they are allowed into the country.

A traveller maybe quarantined if his or her temperature is above 37.5 Celsius, Mr Gideon Akwei, Head of Port Health at KIA told journalists yesterday when he and staff of the Ghana Health Service conducted journalists round the facility.

He said passengers were required to fill a declaration form before they were screened by a thermal scanner — a sophisticated device made up of a camera and screen monitor.

Mr Akwei explained that, “once a passenger is taken to the isolation room, the Ambulance Service and airport clinic is immediately contacted before the passenger is referred to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.”

Dr Dennis Laryea of the Ghana Health Service said large screens at the carousel where passengers pick their bags provide useful information about signs and symptoms of the disease.

He advised members of the public to observe strict hygiene practices including the use of nose cover, washing of hands with clean water and soap.

Dr Laryea noted that fever, sore throat and difficulty in breathing were common symptoms of the disease and urged those who experience the symptoms to seek early medical treatment.

Coronavirus was first reported from Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019; the total number of people infected with the virus rose to 17,205 across the country, after 2,829 new cases were reported.

Some countries have evacuated their citizens from Hubei Province and its capital city, Wuhan, while many have also imposed extraordinary travel restrictions on travellers to and from China.

About 150 cases have been reported in two dozen other countries.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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