Why Ghana's coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in a few days

03/27/2020 | Pulse Ghana | Kojo Emmanuel

The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus.

The disease caused by the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of a common cold.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.

The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.

Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties.

When the virus started to spread in some parts of Africa, Ghana was not exempted.

Due to the outbreak, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ordered the closure of all schools and universities in Ghana as his administration moves to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also ordered the suspension of all public gatherings for the next four weeks.

These public gatherings include conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious events such as services in churches and mosques.

As of March 19, 2020, five (5) new confirmed cases were recorded.

All five were reported from Greater Accra Region.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

29-year-old Ghanaian lady; resident of Accra; no history of travel; sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

34-year-old Ghanaian lady resident of Accra; contact of a confirmed case at a place of work; sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

53-year-old Ghanaian male, resident of Tema; no history of travel, no evidence of close contact with the confirmed case; sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

41-year-old Ghanaian male; arrived in Ghana by KLM on the 15 March 2020; indicated exposure with family members in Amsterdam exhibiting respiratory symptoms and also on the flight with some passengers sneezing and coughing; sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

36-year-old Ghanaian male; resident of Paris, France; date of arrival in Ghana unconfirmed; no evidence of contact with an infected person;

This brings to a total of sixteen (16) confirmed cases in Ghana, with no death.

As of 23 March 2020, a total of 521 suspected cases have been tested for COVID-19 by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR).

Out of the suspected, twenty-seven (27) cases including two (2) deaths have been confirmed and all the twenty-five (25) confirmed cases are receiving treatment in isolation.

Among the confirmed cases, twenty (20) are of Ghanaian nationality, majority of whom returned home from affected countries, Seven (7) are of other nationals namely: Norway, Lebanon, China, France, UK.

In respect of contact tracing, a total of 598 contacts have been identified and are being tracked, One (1) of the contacts developed symptoms and has been confirmed positive.

Nineteen people have completed the 14 days of mandatory follow up.

Three new COVID-19 cases confirmed on the 20th March 2020. Two were reported from Greater Accra Region and one from Ashanti Region.

55-year-old Ghanaian woman; resident of the UK; returned to Ghana within two weeks; sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

84-year-old Ghanaian lady resident of the United Kingdom; came back to Ghana within the past two (2) weeks; developed symptoms and sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

27-year-old Chinese male; returned to Ghana (Ashanti Region) in the past two weeks; developed symptoms and sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.

The next day, March 21, 2020, two(2) new cases of COVID-19 with 1 death, this leaves the existing case count in the country to be 20.

A total of 315 suspected cases have been tested for COVID-19.

Twenty-four (24) of these have been confirmed at the laboratory as COVID-19. Twenty-three of the confirmed cases are receiving treatment in isolation and one (1) of the cases who had the underlying chronic pulmonary condition prior to having COVID-19 has died.

Among the confirmed cases, seventeen (17) are of Ghanaian nationality and seven (7) other nationals namely: Norway, Lebanon, China, France, UK.

With regard to contact tracing, a total of 575 contacts have been identified and are being tracked.

One (1) of the contacts developed symptoms and has been confirmed positive.

As of 23 March 2020, a total of 521 suspected cases have been tested for COVID-19.

Out of the suspected, twenty-seven (27) cases including two (2) deaths have been confirmed.

As of 24 March 2020, a total of fifty-three (53) cases including two (2) deaths have been confirmed. All the fifty-one (51) confirmed cases are receiving treatment in isolation.

The sudden spike in case incidence is a result of the mandatory quarantine and compulsory testing for all travelers entering Ghana, as directed by the president.

As of 24 March, a total of 1,030 are under mandatory quarantine; 844 have had their samples taken; 510 have had the samples tested, and out these twenty-six (26) tested positive for COVID-19.

As of the morning of 25 March 2020, a total of sixty-eight (68) cases including two (2) deaths have been confirmed.

Sixty-six (66) of these confirmed cases are being managed in isolation.

On 26 March 2020, a total of fifty-four (54) cases including three (3) deaths have been confirmed from the regular surveillance systems.

On Friday, Ghana's Coronavirus case count has increased to 136 confirmed cases.

Four new cases were recorded today, Friday, 27th March 2020 after 132 cases were reported, Thursday, 26th March 2020.

The death toll, however, remains 3, confirms the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in an update provided.

The government disclosed that currently has about one thousand and thirty (1,030) Ghanaians in mandatory quarantine.

Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said those in quarantine are Ghanaians who flown into the country.

However, there has been calls on the government to declare a lock down but President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said Ghana will espouse all available options before declaring a nationwide lock down.



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