News Alerts

02 May 2020 | 01:24 AM UTC

Ghana: Border closure extended through May 31 /update 9

Ghana News Alert

Ghanaian government announces extension of border closure through May 31; follow all government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/2/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Accra). COUNTRY/REGION Ghana

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Event

On Friday, May 1, President Addo Dankw Akufo-Addo announced the extension of the closure of the country's international borders through Sunday, May 31, due to ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The measure also affects international commercial flights, which will not operate over this period. The government stated that the extension was necessary in order to prevent the import of further cases of COVID-19. 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.

Aviation Minister Joseph Kofi Adda has also announced that domestic flights in Ghana would resume from May 1. Authorities added that precautionary measures, such as safe distancing between passengers, will be in place to ensure the safety of passengers and operators. Health screenings are mandatory for crew members before a flight, and more personal protective equipment (PPE) is being acquisitioned for port health officials and ground handling personnel.

A ban on public gatherings, including religious activities and funerals, is in place until Monday, May 11. Trotros, taxis, and busses are advised to operate with a minimal number of passengers and all businesses and supermarkets will be enforcing social distancing measures. All vehicles undertaking intracity travel must also reduce their number of passengers to observe social-distancing measures. It is mandatory to wear face masks in public in the Greater Accra region and Cape Coast Metropolis.

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 May 1, authorities have confirmed 2074 COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 17 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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