– Dr Badu Sarkodie, the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service
(GHS) on Friday urged Ghanaians do not to panic over the confirmed case of
Coronavirus in Nigeria, this follows the confirmed case of COVID 19 in neighbouring Nigeria.
Ghana, with the
support of the world Health Organisation and other relevant bodies, had
strengthened and enhanced its preparedness regimes at all levels to prevent an
The needed support,
he said, had also been given to health staff to boost their confidence to
manage any case that would test positive.
Dr Sarkodie was
speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, which sought to find out
what further interventions the national technical team on COVID-19 would
introduce following the reported case in Nigeria, on Friday.
“We just have
to continually monitor to ensure that the relevant actions are being taken with
regard to surveillance,” he said.
So far, Ghana’s
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has tested 24 suspected cases
and they have all proven negative.
Authorities, on Thursday, February 27, confirmed its first case of Coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) case, in Lagos State.
It involves an
Italian citizen who worked in Nigeria, travelled to Italy and returned from
Milan to Nigeria on February 25, this year.
More than a dozen
countries have recorded their first cases of Coronavirus in the past 48 hours,
with Tudors Adhanom, the Director-General of the World Health Organization,
cautioning that the outbreak had become a‘potential pandemic’.
Dr Sarkodie said
though the case in Nigeria was unfortunate, but it was good that it was picked
up early – without delay to prevent an outbreak.
The situation could
have been in Ghana, he said, as the two countries shared similar risks.
“The monitoring is
very critical; we need to ensure that passengers are watched closely to pick up
any case that may arrive,” he emphasised, but added that, “the country is
positioned to pick it early, investigate and contain it”.
Jingles in the
various local languages would soon be aired to boost the mass media campaign on
prevention and early detection.
Nigeria is the 49th
country to report a coronavirus case, but the first in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Sarkodie urged
citizens to adhere to the preventive measures that had been recommended for
regularly and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based
They should also
maintain at least one and half metres (five feet) distance between themselves
and anyone who had a cough or sneezed.
persistently or sneezing should stay indoors or keep a social distance, but not
mix with a crowd. They must adhere to good respiratory hygiene by covering
mouths and noses with a handkerchief or tissue while sneezing or coughing,” he
since December 2019, killed more than 2,800 people and infected more than
general trading and businesses have been badly hit, while many social and
sporting activities, which involve a crowd, in many of the 55 affected
countries have been cancelled or suspended.