Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has touted government’s approach to the fight against Coronavirus, saying the decision to resort to enhanced contact tracing and mandatory quarantine made it possible for the country to track 274 more cases.
“It is interesting to note that if we hadn’t as a country stepped up our approach to be ahead and go after the virus we would be reporting only 292 cases by now,” his tweet on Monday read. “The mix of measures to aggressively go in search of it while limiting importation is the reason for which we have found 274 more cases.”
On March 21, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his televised address on the country’s preparedness to fight the pandemic announced that government will effectively begin a mandatory quarantine of all travellers arriving in the country regardless of nationality.
He also said all borders – by land, sea and air – will be closed to human traffic as part of the measures.
Few days afterwards, the president addressing some members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Jubilee House said he felt vindicated by the decision to mandatorily quarantine travelers because an overwhelming number of coronavirus cases Ghana had recorded are imported.
“An extreme number, have been found to carry the virus. So, focusing on the importation of the virus and infection have proof to be absolutely spot on… We are now seeing the benefits of these measures,” he noted.
The number of cases called for extra stringent measures to be put in place to prevent an escalation. The president subsequently imposed restrictions on movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA, which includes Awutu Senya East), and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts for two weeks. After subjecting it to review, a one-week extension was announced, effective April 13.
He had explained that the decision “will give us the opportunity to try to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they prove to have the virus.”
As the case count clocks 566, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah posits that “The enhanced tracing and testing coupled with the mandatory quarantine systems is yielding results. Had we not adopted this approach, the 274 extra will be with us potentially continuously spreading the virus.”
He has however, encouraged “all persons to comply with the measures and spread more knowledge and facts to help us all.”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service has said 66.6% of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ghana had no history of travel while 33.4% had some history of travel.
The breakdown of the 566 positive cases are as follows: four (4) have been treated, discharged and tested negative, 552 cases have been categorized as mild disease on treatment, two (2) moderate to severe cases, none currently on ventilators and eight (8) have died.
Regions that have reported cases are Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Northern, North East, Upper East, Western, Volta and Upper West. The Greater Accra remains Ghana’s epicentre of the outbreak with 452 cases.
It is interesting to note that if we hadn’t as a country stepped up our approach to be ahead and go after the virus we would be reporting only 292 cases by now.— Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (@konkrumah) April 13, 2020
The enhanced tracing and testing coupled with the mandatory quarantine systems is yielding results. Had we not adopted this approach, the 274 extra will be with us potentially continuously spreading the virus.— Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (@konkrumah) April 13, 2020