News Alerts

26 Apr 2020 | 03:03 AM UTC

Ghana: Wearing of face masks mandatory in public in Greater Accra region as of April 22 /update 6

Ghana News Alert

Regional council in Greater Accra region make wearing of face masks in public places mandatory as of April 22; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/17/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Accra). COUNTRY/REGION Greater Accra region, Ghana

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Event

The Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council issued a directive on Wednesday, April 22, making the wearing of face masks compulsory in public with immediate effect in the Greater Accra region. Similar measures will be imposed in Cape Coast Metropolis from Monday, April 27. President Nana Akufo-Addu advised Ghanaians to wear face masks in a television address on Sunday, April 19; however, these are the first measures to make the wearing of face masks mandatory.

Akufo-Addo began easing movement restrictions in major cities in the country as of Monday, April 20, including in Accra and Kumasi (Ashanti region), following a 21-day lockdown implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents in cities under lockdown measures are allowed to return to work; however, large public gatherings remain prohibited and schools closed until further notice.

Ghana's borders remain closed to contain the spread of the outbreak. Citizens returning from abroad and foreign nationals with Ghanaian residence permits will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine period if they show symptoms of the virus. All vehicles undertaking intracity travel must also reduce their number of passengers to observe social-distancing measures.

As of Saturday, April 25, 1279 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ghana, as well as ten associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

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.

Advice

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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