Ghana has confirmed two cases of the deadly coronavirus, the Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu has disclosed.
The cases were confirmed on March 12, 2020, the minister said. The Noguchi Memorial Institute has confirmed the cases.
The two individuals came into the country from Norway and Turkey, the government announced at a press briefing Thursday night. They have been quarantined, the health minister added.
“Both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey. So these are imported cases of COVID -19 Both patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable. We have initiated processes for contact tracing.
“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. We wish to encourage every Ghanaian to take care of their health and that of their families by adhering to the following precautionary measures”.
On Wednesday the President directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of $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.”
Delivering an address to the nation the President 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.
Already, all of Ghana’s immediate neighbors, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo, have recorded confirmed cases of infections, and countries like Italy, where there is a large population of Ghanaians, have escalated their response to the outbreak.
Ghana’s entry points, such as her airports and land borders, President Akufo-Addo said, continue to show satisfactory preparedness to screen all entrants into the country, with the Ministry of Health designating a quarantine facility that can hold infected persons, whilst regional hospitals are preparing isolation centers for holding suspected cases.