Details have emerged that a senior official at the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana, and a Ghanaian who recently returned from Turkey were diagnosed with the COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 12 at a hospital in Accra.
Checks by www.ghanaweb.com indicate that the two patients were confirmed before President Akufo-Addo’s emergency address on government’s allocated funding for the fight against the importation and spread of the pandemic.
According to inside sources, the foreign nationals reported to the hospital this week showing symptoms of the disease. After they were isolated in one of the wards, tests were run leading to the confirmation of the COVID-19.
“A memo was posted on the notice board for all personnel to stay off their ward,” a source noted.
Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu and a delegation paid a visit to the hospital to hold a meeting with the management after the patients were confirmed with the fast-spreading plague.
In order to prevent the further spread of the disease in the country, the government initiated the contact tracing procedure to locate persons the victims may have had physical interactions with.
In a televised address Wednesday evening, President Akufo-Addo revealed that government was going to allocate $100million in cedi equivalence to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
Among other things, he charged that international travels by his officials be brought to an abrupt end.
“I have, as at yesterday, ordered a suspension of all international travels by public officials.
“Except for critical assignments, which will have to be authorised by the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, all public officials are to remain within the jurisdiction, until further notice. Video conferencing facilities and other technological tools are to be utilised, whenever possible, for international engagements,” he noted.
“Our country’s two main research institutions, the Noguchi Memorial Institute and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research, which have the capacity to investigate and confirm or otherwise suspected cases of Coronavirus infections, have been very supportive in this regard. So far, they have found that the fifty-seven (57) suspected cases, as of today, Wednesday, 11th March, have proved negative,” the president added.
However, 24 hours after the president’s announcement, the health minister broadcasted in an emergency presser to Ghanaians that the much-dreaded fears of the populace had been confirmed in the country.
Some members of the opposition party, NDC expressed scepticism at the timing of the announcement, alleging that dubious undertakings were being employed to squander the allocated funds for the fight of the coronavirus to fund campaigns ahead of the country’s polls in December.
Confirming the prevalence of the disease, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated in an interview that prior to their tests, the duo had been in Ghana for about a week.
He discarded the reports as conspiracy theories and discouraged the politicisation of the national problem.
“But let me caution, there’s a trend in this country; when serious matters come up, people are interested in politics and conspiracy theories and jokes on social media …
“This is not the time to joke or conspire about matters like this. We have to spend our airtime, our social media pages, sharing information on how to prevent contact so that we can save lives … not spend time tickling ourselves in conspiracy theories,” he told Francis Abban on Starr FM.