The Ministry of Health (MOH) says it is constantly doing risk assessment of the Convid-19 situation and will take appropriate action including, evacuating Ghanaians from China, the epicenter of the flu-like virus outbreak, when necessary.
A statement, signed by the Minister, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, said for now, they were going with recommendations made by experts that there should not be any hasty mass-evacuation.
The Government, it said, was much concerned about “our citizens in China especially, the Ghanaian students, and is working to ensure their protection, safety and wellbeing, as we continue to supply basic needs”.
“We are in constant engagement with Ghana’s Ambassador in China as well as the Chinese authorities through their Ambassador in Ghana.
“Information reaching us indicates that so far not a single Ghanaian in China or elsewhere on the globe has been affected.”
The statement comes amid the appeal by some Ghanaian students in Wuhan, in the Hubei Province and the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), for their evacuation.
The MOH said Ghana was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the West African Health Organisation, the Center for Disease Control of the United States (US) and other development partners to constantly review its strategies day-by-day.
It also mentioned sub regional consultation and said, “The West African Health Organisation is engaging member states and has not recommended evacuation yet.
“Again, there are public health principles ‘in outbreak situations’.
“All these notwithstanding, we are reviewing the situation by the hour and when it becomes necessary, we will tow the next line of action as appropriate, including evacuation.
“We want to assure the public that, as per the management of all outbreaks which is a dynamic activity, we will continue to monitor the situation and act as appropriate.
“We will further wish to advise Ghanaians to delay non-essential travels to China”.
The nation’s preparations in terms of emergency preparedness response and surveillance has been heightened and proven to be effective and efficient.
“As a country, we have encountered 15 suspected cases as of today. Samples have been taken from all of them and sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for tests and results have been negative.
“Key stakeholder engagements have been extensive and we have met all regional directors of health services, chief executive officers of the Teaching Hospitals, and reviewed their preparedness for emergency response following our alert to them and the Ministry is satisfied with preparations made across the regions so far.
“Disease surveillance within the country and at the points of entry has been heightened, as we work in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service and other Port Authorities.
“Our prevention and control mechanisms cut across strengthening surveillance internally and at points of entry, case management, risk communication and social mobilization, coordination, laboratory testing and logistics support.
“We once again wish to reassure Ghanaians, especially parents and relatives of
Ghanaians and in particular Ghanaians in Wuhan city and entire Hubei Province that our citizens are in good hands and are being taken care of.
“The Ghana Embassy in China is in constant engagement with them and have been constantly updating us of events.”
The virus, reported to the WHO by China on December 31, 2019, has so far infected more than 45,000 and claimed more than 1,100 lives.
More than 330 of the cases are in 24 other countries.