A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Upper West Regional capital, Wa.
The Regional Minister, Hafiz Bin Salih who addressed the media on Friday [March 27, 2020] said the patient is a 42-year-old Ghanaian who visited UK, Spain and returned to Ghana through Egypt.
He added that the patient travelled from Accra to Wa via public transport before he started showing symptoms.
A sample from the patient was taken and sent out for testing around 1pm on Thursday [March 26, 2020] and the region received the report of the result around noon on Friday.
“…[He] returned to Ghana eight days ago through Egypt and travelled from Accra to Wa through public transport and has been confirmed COVID-19 positive. This is the first case of a suspect [in the Upper West Region] whose samples were taken for test and the result is that the patient is a COVID-19 patient,” the Minister said.
While urging calm among the public he said the patient self-quarantined himself prior to confirmation of his status.
“The good thing is that, even before the test result came out positive, the suspect was in self-quarantine. He has isolated himself because he had returned from countries where the disease is prevalent…. This should not bring fear into us. It does not mean he is going to die,” he said.
Hafiz Bin Salih further called on people resident in the region to adhere to all the preventive measures outlined by health authorities.
“I entreat all and sundry that the precautionary measures that have been prescribed to all of us must be adhered to. We need to continue to wash our hands regularly and where necessary, we should apply hand sanitizers…,” he added.
Appeal for support
The Regional Minister appealed to indigenes of the region to support health authorities with cash and other materials relevant to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
He said items such as hand sanitizers and veronica buckets will be critical in helping the region fight COVID-19, giving further assurance that “the committee that is in charge of health emergency [in the region] have what it takes to handle the disease in the Upper West Region.
New case or not?
It is unclear whether this patient was part of the four additional cases announced by the Ghana Health Service earlier today, Friday, March 27, 2020.
The Ghana Health Service website dedicated to updating Ghanaians on COVID-19 projects the current coronavirus cases in Ghana at 136, as of 09:15hr on March 27.
It reported that four new cases were recorded today.
Authorities say contact tracing had been initiated for the new cases.
The new patients have since been isolated and are receiving treatment.
Restrictions to stop COVID-19 spread
The rising cases of Coronavirus in the country have heightened calls for Ghana to declare a lockdown in order to stop the spread.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in response to the calls said although a lockdown remains an option, extensive consultations will be made to ensure that any decision the government takes, will be in the right direction.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, Nana Akufo-Addo said government will consider all factors before a lockdown is announced.
“People in Ghana are now talking about a lockdown. Majority of people who will be affected by decisions of that nature are the working people of our country. The ordinary people of Ghana. They are the ones who will be affected and it is important for us to take into account the circumstances and conditions. When we lock down Accra, what are the consequences? A responsible government is required to look at all the implications before decisions are made. And that is the exercise we are currently engaged in and I am hoping that much sooner than later we will come to an agreement on what those measures are and the Ghanaian people will be informed,” the President said.