On Saturday, March 4, authorities announced that the country's border closure that was due to end on Sunday, April 5, has been extended for a 14-day period in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As such, the country will be closed to all but the transportation of goods, as well as the returning of citizens and foreign nationals with Ghanaian residence permits who will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine if showing symptoms of the virus.
Authorities previously announced a lockdown in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and the Greater Kumansi Metropolitan Area and advised individuals stay at home. Additionally, inter-city travel for private and commercial purposes, except for essential goods and services, has been suspended. All intra-city travel vehicles must also reduce their number passengers to observe social distancing.
As of April 6, there are 214 confirmed cases COVID-19 cases and five reported deaths nationwide; Further international spread of the virus is expected.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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