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The United States of America has temporarily suspended the issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in Ghana on the back of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The Embassy said in a statement Tuesday that it will “resume routine services as soon as possible”.
Those with “urgent matter” and required immediate travel to the US have been directed to apply for visa using an emergency appointment on the website of the Embassy.
Also, all American libraries and education centres in Ghana have been closed to the public effective March 17 until further notice.
“During this period, the public will not be able to access the library until further notice. All scheduled programs inside American Spaces and the EducationUSA Advising Center have been canceled indefinitely. In Kumasi, all EducationUSA Advising activities in Kumasi are canceled; however, the testing center remains open,” it said.
It explained that the decision was in line with keeping with Ghana government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which has forced some countries including Italy and Spain to go on lockdown as they struggle to contain the virus.
“The health of our visitors is a high priority,” the Embassy explained, adding “These temporary measures are precautionary and not in response to any known or suspected COVID-19 exposure at any of our facilities”.
The covid-19 pandemic which originated in China late last year has infected more than 182,400 people and killed over 7,100 globally.
More than 4,400 cases have been recorded in the United States with at least 86 fatalities while Ghana has now recorded a total of six imported cases as of Sunday, March 14.
Health officials say all the six patients who have since been quarantined, are in stable condition.
Contact tracing has begun since March 12 when the first two cases in the country were recorded.
Government has announced what some believe to be bold measures, including travel bans and closure of all schools in the country as well as ban of social gatherings to stem the spread of the virus.
Businesses and other workplaces however continue to operate, but have been directed to observe prescribed social distancing between patrons and staff.
Establishments, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs, hotels and drinking spots, have also been advised by government to observe enhanced hygiene procedures by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands.