The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed his satisfaction with the measures Government has put in place to deal with the threat of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 4th March, 2020, when he paid visits to the Kotoka International Airport, the Tema General Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.
Accompanied by the Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the President’s first port of call was the arrivals terminal of the Kotoka International Airport.
It was revealed by the Health Minister that several stakeholder engagements with the Ghana Airport Company Limited, Ghana Immigration Services, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, at all the country’s ports of entry, have been held place to strengthen Ghana’s COVID-19 preparedness and surveillance.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd, Mr. Yaw Kwakwa, told President Akufo-Addo that, on arrival at the airport, all passengers are screened using thermal scanning devices at the airport, and passengers are also required to fill a health declaration form.
Additionally, the GACL boss indicated that point of entry staff at the airport have been sensitised on case detection and infection prevention and control, together with the creation of a holding room at the airport which is to be utilised to hold suspected COVID-19 cases.
At the Tema General Hospital, one of the hospitals designated as a treatment /isolation centre for the COVID-19 disease, the Medical Director of hospital, Dr. Richard Anthony, told President Akufo-Addo that the Infectious Diseases Unit of the Hospital is “readily prepared for the COVID-19. We have an emergency response team made up of nurses, pharmacists, administrators on standby”.
The President was taken on a tour of the clean room encompassing a changing area for the nurses, as well as the main ward, which did not have any patients as at the time of the visit.
“We have not had any suspected or cases tested in Tema General,” he added.
At the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, another hospital designated as a treatment /isolation centre for the COVID-19 disease, President Akufo-Addo was told that the infectious diseases centre of the hospital “is a full unit, purposely-built and well-designed to hold and quarantine an infectious case.”
The President was made aware of the fact that the emergency response team at the hospital has been activated, with basic medical checks undertaken on every patient who visits the hospital.
“If there is any positive indication of the contraction of a disease, we keep you and we make arrangement for the patient to be transported to this centre. We conduct a test, which involves taking samples and sending it to Noguchi. To date, we have tested about seventeen people who fitted into the case definition. However, luckily, none of them tested positive,” the head of the Centre told President Akufo-Addo
In briefing the President, the Minister of Health stated that public health emergency management structures at all levels, i.e. national, regional, district have been activated and placed on high alert, in addition to the holding of National Technical Co-ordinating Committee meetings.
He added that emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated, alerts have been sent to all regions to activate Public Health Emergency Management Committees (PHEMCs) to initiate preparedness activities and enhance surveillance for respiratory diseases.
Thus far, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu told President Akufo-Addo that forty (40) suspected corona virus cases have been reported and tested. All forty (40), he stressed have tested negative for COVID-19 from Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR).