Ghana has begun recording localized cases of the deadly novel coronavirus as five new cases are confirmed Friday morning by health officials who are stepping up efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country.
Three persons in Accra and Tema with no travel history are the first people to have contracted the disease locally.
Circumstances under which two of them contracted the disease which has killed more than 8,000 people globally, are unknown as health officials say, they have neither travelled out of the country nor have had contact with an infected person.
In the case of the 53-year-old Ghanaian male in Tema, officials say “no history of travel, no evidence of close contact with confirmed case”.
For the 29-year-old Ghanaian lady of Accra, officials did not say how she got the disease except to say her “sample confirmed positive in the laboratory”.
However, for a 34-year-old Ghanaian lady resident of Accra, she was said to have contacted an infected person her place of work.
A statement issued moments ago by the Ghana Health Service said all the five new cases were reported from Greater Accra Region and involved Ghanaians.
The fourth case is a 41-year-old Ghanaian male who arrived in Ghana by KLM on the 15 March 2020.
“[He] 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,” the Ghana Health Service stated.
A 36-year-old Ghanaian male resident in Paris, France although arrived in Ghana with an unconfirmed case, he later tested positive.
Officials said there is “no evidence of contact with infected person”.
Though now death has been recorded in the country since the first two confirmed cases were recorded on March 12, there are fears the situation could get worse as Ghana appears to be moving from steady rise to a surge with localized cases being recorded.
President Nana Akufo-Addo speaking at a breakfast prayer meeting with some Christian leaders and pastors at the Jubilee House Thursday, said Ghana is lucky to count itself as one of the countries least hit by the deadly virus.
“With 9 confirmed cases of infections, we might as well count ourselves lucky as one of the countries least hit by the Coronavirus,” he stated.
But before the day ended, two more cases were confirmed to bring the national tally to 11. While one of the two cases was classified as imported, the other was not stated, suggesting it was a local infection.
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.
Ghana has since March 15 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 Ghana.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana