The tests were carried out at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research , the minister updated Ghanaians in a statement.

“As a country, we have encountered 15 suspected cases as of today. Samples have been taken from all of them and sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for tests and the results have been negative,” it stated.

“We wish to reassure the nation that preparations in terms of emergency preparedness response and surveillance have been heightened and proven to be effective and efficient.”

The statement also noted that disease surveillance within the country, and at points of entries had been heightened, as health authorities worked in partnership with the Ghana Immigration Service and other port authorities.

“Again stakeholder engagements have been extensive with series of meetings with all Regional Directors of Health, and Chief Executive Officers of the Teaching Hospitals and they have reviewed their preparedness for emergency responses following earlier alerts to them.

“Our prevention and control mechanisms cut across strengthening surveillance internally and at Points of Entry, Case Management, Risk Communication, and Social Mobilisation, Coordination, Laboratory testing, and Logistics support,” the statement noted.

The virus, officially known as COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in central China, in December last year.

It has so far killed almost 1,400 people and infected nearly 65,000 others globally.

More than two dozen countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the virus poses a "grave threat" to the world.