Coronavirus in Nigeria: Ghana urges citizens to remain calm

Coronavirus in Nigeria: Ghana urges citizens to remain calm

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the confirmed case of Coronavirus in Nigeria; is a wake-up call for Ghana to strengthen its preparedness measures. However, it stated that it was not a reason for the public to panic.

It said the case in Nigeria was an evidence of the reality of the situation and the possibility of it travelling anywhere; but gave an assurance that Ghana’s surveillance and response mechanisms were ready to pick and deal with any suspected case.

Therefore, it reiterated its appeal to Ghanaians to continue to have confidence in the country’s surveillance measures.

This was disclosed in an interview by Head of Public Health at the GHS; Dr Ebenezer Badu Sarkodie monitored by 1st News.

Sarkodie explained that the current national preparedness measures; although not absolutely perfect; were adequate to identify any suspected case and also provide adequate management to avoid an outbreak.

He said the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the GHS were working with key health development partners; such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) to monitor the global and national situation; as well as to inform further interventions to prevent an outbreak locally.

“We agree that there are a few gaps which we’ve taken note of. We are working hard to address them. But those gaps do not defeat the intention and the strength of the current activated system,” Sarkodie said.


He added that the surveillance system had so far picked up and tested over 25 suspected coronavirus cases; which had all tested negative.

Further, he debunked rumours that people went through the ports of entry without going through checks; explaining that quarantining travellers, especially from Asia, had never been part of the protocols.

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Meanwhile, 1st News reports that the first case of the coronavirus in Sub-Saharan Africa was confirmed in Nigeria Thursday. The patient is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria. He flew into Lagos from Milan on February 25, 2020.

However, the patient is under quarantine and said to be stable with no serious symptoms.

Dr Badu Sarkodie said in the absence of vaccines and a cure; the most efficient response to the global health threat was prevention.

Consequently, he called on the public to imbibe basic hygienic practices to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak, now referred to as COVID-19, in Ghana.

He explained that adhering to basic hygienic practices such as avoiding coughing on people; and not allowing people to cough on you; frequent washing of hands with soap under clean running water; using 60 per cent alcohol content sanitisers or hand scrubs had become critical to prevention; because the highly contagious and airborne disease currently had no vaccine or medication.

Sarkodie said observing those hygienic practices were critical because the virus; although airborne, did not survive beyond 24 hours in the atmosphere.

“Therefore, avoiding contact with the virus is key.”

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