The Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service are reassuring Ghanaians of intensified preparedness towards the prevention and management of any case of Coronavirus following the confirmation of the first recorded case in neighbouring Nigeria.
Nigeria confirmed its first case of the virus on Friday, February 28. The patient is said to be an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and flew into the commercial city of Lagos from Milan on February 25.
Though authorities say he is stable with no serious symptoms and is being treated at a hospital in the city, many Ghanaians have expressed fear about the possible spread of the condition to Ghana.
In a statement in the possession of ABC News, the Ghanaian Health authorities have assured the public of heightened surveillance in ensuring that Ghanaians are safe.
”We wish to take the opportunity to reassure Ghanaians that we will continue to intensify our preparedness activities and heighten surveillance at all points of entry to ensure that all citizens are safe and secured,” the statement said.
The statement further entreats the general public to stick to precautionary measures such as regularly washing hands with soap under running water or if possible use hand sanitizers regularly as well as practicing common cough and sneezing etiquette.
The statement further cautions the public not to visit any health facility without supervision in case signs and symptoms of the condition begin to manifest as well as avoid spreading unverified messages on social media.
It also charges the media to dedicate airtime in educating the public on the condition. ”We encourage the media to devote some of their airtime time in educating the general public on the preventive measures they may need to adopt to avoid infection and the spread of the disease,” the statement said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had warned that Africa’s “fragile health systems” meant the threat posed by the virus was “considerable”.
Globally, more than 80,000 people in nearly 50 countries have been infected. Nearly 2,800 have died, the vast majority in China’s Hubei province.