The Mental Health Authority has offered to provide emotional and psychological support to persons who are directly or indirectly affected by the novel coronavirus as Ghana records steady rise of the global pandemic.
According to the Authority, anxiety could reduce immunity, cause stresss and make people vulnerable and susceptible to the virus, which has affected more than 200,000 people globally and caused over 8,000 fatalities.
Ghana has since recording the first two case on March 12, confirmed nine more, bringing the national tally to 11 as of March 20.
There are fears by many that efforts to contain the disease which so far has no known cure, could get out of hand and spread across the country as has happened in even advanced nations in Europe, Asia and America.
A statement issued by the Mental Health Authority said it has acknowledged the fear and panic amongst Ghanaians in the midst of the coronavirus scare.
“Let us not panic, be tense or anxious,” the Authority advised, noting such conditions are likely to expose people to the disease
Beyond that, it said fear can make one take an unnecessary action like committing suicide, cause heart attack, hypertension and stomach ulcer or worsen them
“Fear and panic can kill you even when you don’t have the virus or even if you had it, the virus might itself not have killed you,” the Authority indicated.
“If you have to be in self-isolation (quarantine) be in touch frequently with friends and family via phone or any other means,” it advised.
It said in these crucial times, there is the need for everyone to keep calm and be level headed and advised all to adhere to health advice.
“If you still need emotional or psychological support contact the following numbers 0504497705 or 0558424645” it said.
Although Africa is the least affected continent with some 16 deaths, the World Health Organisation is warning Africans to prepare for the worst.
It said strained public health systems could become quickly overwhelmed as is the case in some parts of Asia and Europe where some countries have been placed on lockdown as a result of rising number of new cases.
But Ghana has taken a series of measures including a ban on social gatherings for the next four weeks, closure of schools and a ban on non-citizens from countries worst hit by the global pandemic from entering the country.