Ghana’s COVID-19 cases jump to 11

Ghana’s cases of persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) shot up to 11 yesterday, updates from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) confirmed.

Two cases earlier confirmed by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in the Greater Accra region, involved a 56-year-old Ghanaian man who travelled back to Accra from a trip to the United Kingdom (UK) a week ago and a 33-year-old Ghanaian who had returned from a conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Two others, established by the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) in the Ashanti Region, was a 59-year-old Ghanaian woman resident in the UK but based in Kumasi and a 61-year-old Lebanese male trader resident in the same city who both tested positive for the virus.

So far, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ghana have come from countries including Turkey, Norway, Germany, France, United States of America, UK and the UAE.

“Currently, there is no death and all nine confirmed COVID-19 cases are being managed in isolation and are responding well to treatment,” a statement shared on the official website of the GHS dedicated to the pandemic said.

On contact tracing, the GHS says a total of 399 contacts have been identified and are being followed up.

Out of the number, 19 who developed symptoms of the disease have had their samples taken for laboratory testing and 15 had proved negative.

“We are awaiting results of the four of them left,” the GHS indicated.

A tweet from the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah to confirm the first two cases on Thursday morning had explained that the results were attained overnight.

However by late afternoon, the KCCR had notified the GHS of two more, putting the number of cases recorded yesterday alone, at four (4).

“Health services are still managing all suspected and confirmed cases well,” he assured.

Meanwhile, medical experts have predicted that Ghana is likely to record more cases of COVID-19 within the next two weeks.

“The health experts tell us that the next two weeks are critical in determining whether or not we will get significant community spread. They tell us that, the general theory of pandemic management is that, often the numbers are likely to go up a bit before the situation gets better.

“Therefore, they are bracing for the possibility of some limited recordings of more cases in the medium term but they continue to assure us that, the systems they are putting together are such that we are able to control it and hold this virus in check,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah had said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

About 633 cases have been recorded in Africa with many governments increasingly rolling out robust measures to halt the spread and contain the pandemic.

Seventeen deaths have so far been recorded on the continent but the World Health Organisation (WHO) suspects a higher number of undetected or unreported cases in Africa.

“And that is why we are saying we have to do the testing, we have to do the contact tracing, we have to do the isolation and cut it from the bud,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO stressed.

Having broken out in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China, COVID-19, is a new form of coronaviruses that is associated with respiratory disorders and characterised by symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose and breathing difficulties.

To prevent contracting the infection, members of the public are advised to adhere to precautionary measures including regular washing of hands with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

“Avoid shaking of hands, keep distance of at least two metres from persons with signs of fever, cough, sneezing and difficulty in breathing, do not touch face, eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands, be physically active, drink plenty of water, eat healthy, avoid stress and have enough sleep.

“In case of suspected cases members are to call the following numbers; 0509497700, 0558439868.”

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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