Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ghana, the Health Minister Kwasi Agyemang-Manu has announced.
He made this known at an emergency press briefing by the Information Ministry on Thursday night, March 12, 2020.
The two cases tested positive after laboratory tests from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research.
According to the Health Minister, they were reported as ‘imported cases’ as both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey.
“Both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey. So these are imported cases of COVID-19.”
Although the Minister did not state the nationality of the two patients, Citi News sources say one is a Norwegian national, who’s a senior official at the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana, and the other a Ghanaian citizen.
“I wish to assure all Ghanaians that the Government of Ghana together with all health partners will continue to work assiduously to ensure the situation is contained. Both patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable. We have initiated processes for contact tracing.”
“Both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey; so these are imported cases of COVID-19,” a statement from the Health Ministry added.
The two are the first cases of the COVID-19 to test positive in Ghana after some 57 cases earlier proved negative.
The Health Ministry further cautioned Ghanaians to stick with the basic precautionary measures to ensure they do not get into contact with the virus.
$100m allocated for coronavirus fight – Nana Addo
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, 11th March 2020, the President Akufo-Addo said he has directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of US$100 million to enhance Ghana’s Coronavirus preparedness and response plan.
This amount, according to President Akufo-Addo, “is to fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education”.
He further explained that with the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the Coronavirus disease as a pandemic, it is important that Ghana steps up her preparedness to ensure that beyond the initial measures that have been put in place, a ‘whole of Ghana’ approach is adopted in preparation for a possible hit within the country’s borders.
Nearly 4,000 people have died globally, with China the source of the virus, and Italy being the most affected. Over 100,000 cases have been recorded in over 120 countries.
In Africa, there have been very few cases, with Egypt leading with 67 cases, followed by Algeria with 24. South Africa has 13 cases, Morocco six, Tunisia 7, Senegal 4, Burkina Faso 2, Nigeria 2, Togo 1, DR Congo 1, Cameroon 2, and Cote D’Ivoire 1.
Ghana is the latest in Africa to record a case. Meanwhile there have been only three deaths so far in Africa, with one each recorded in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria respectively.