Government imposes travel ban on countries with over 200 COVID-19 cases Featured

By Isabella Agyakwa March 16, 2020 508 25 comments

The government yesterday announced the imposition of a travel ban on countries which have recorded at least 200 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The ban follows the confirmation of six cases of the disease in the country as of yesterday. To this end, airlines have been directed not to allow people from countries with over 200 confirmed cases of the virus into Ghana.

Addressing the media in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, maintained that travellers from the affected countries, other than Ghanaians citizens, will not be allowed into Ghana.

“All travel to Ghana is at this stage strongly discouraged until further notice.  Any traveller, except for Ghanaian citizens, who has been to a country that has recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19 will not be allowed into the Ghanaian jurisdiction. Airlines are instructed to not allow such persons into the jurisdiction,” the Minister said.

He further announced that there will be a two-week mandatory self-quarantine for individuals who are otherwise allowed to enter the country.

“There will now be a mandatory 14 days’ self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the Ghanaian jurisdiction. Guidelines for the self-quarantine will be available at the various Ghanaian points of entry. Enforcement protocols are being deployed in collaboration with security and health authorities,” he said.

Among other things, the Information Minister announced a new website, http://ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/, for all updates on the outbreak of the virus in Ghana.

Six recorded cases

Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service has announced four more cases of novel coronavirus in the country, bringing to six the total number of cases confirmed.

Three cases were recorded in Accra and one other in the Ashanti Region.

The director of public health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie, who provided a situation update, said the new cases were also imported into the country.

Five of the cases involve Ghanaians and the sixth a foreigner, a Norwegian. The Ghanaians had returned to Ghana from the United States, the UK/Switzerland, Turkey and Germany. They are all in quarantine and in a stable condition, the Ghana Health Service says.

Dr Sarkodie recalled that the first two cases were confirmed on March 13 2020; the other four were confirmed the following day.

Contacts identified

He further said that, so far, 151 contacts have been traced to four out of the six individuals confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.

“Let me give just a brief about details of the various cases that we have had with respect to the contacts that we are managing. First four cases, contact tracing has started. We just confirmed the last two cases overnight and we have started mechanisms to identify the contacts.

“With case one, we have identified two contacts and all the contacts are being traced. With case two, the Norwegian, we have identified 107 contacts and we have started processes to follow up on 68 of them. We will be in touch with the rest by the close of today,” Dr Sarkodie said.

“Case three is a student and, for now, we have identified 12 contacts. We are still in the process to work assiduously to get more. And with the last case, the place of residence is Obuasi. Currently, we have identified 30 contacts and all the 30 contacts are being followed up,” he said.

All hands on deck

Another preventive measure, taken jointly by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ghana Health Service, is the release of educational materials on coronavirus, to be distributed to schools nationwide.

The director general of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, issued a statement urging regional and district education directors to ensure that the materials reach every school.

The statement warned all primary- and secondary-level institutions to suspend all public activities such as speech- and prize-giving days.


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Last modified on Monday, 16 March 2020 14:53

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