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xxxxxxxxxxx of Tuesday, 18 February 2020


7 out of 21 coronavirus tests at Noguchi showed symptoms

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The Head of the Virology Department of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Professor William Kwabena Ampofo, says seven out of the 21 cases tested for coronavirus showed symptoms as outlined by the Ghana Health Service despite all proving negative.

He, therefore, called for vigilance and heightened effort as the disease is closer than probably thought.

For him, Ghana is safe for now but measures have to be put in place to fight the disease in case of an outbreak.

He admitted that the symptoms of the coronavirus disease are hard to tell and there makes the viral disease hard to diagnose.

Prof Ampofo made this known at Media General’s thought-leadership and impact forum held on Tuesday, February 18.

It centered on the preparedness of Ghana in case of an outbreak of Covid-19.

It was themed: ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases And Their Effects on Public Health Management in Ghana’.

The Ghana Health Service has been at the forefront in the prevention fight of Covid-19, which first broke out in China’s Hubei Province in December, 2019.

So far, almost 2,000 lives have been lost while confirmed cases have topped 72,000.

According to the Ghana Health Service, protection measures against the coronavirus disease include washing hands with soap frequently under running water, using alcohol hand rub when one’s hands are not visibly dirty and keeping a distance of at least one step (1 meter) from a person showing signs of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.

Prof Ampofo said the samples brought to him to test at Noguchi showed signs of influenza virus, pointing out that viral infections will continue to plague the country but it behoves on health authorities to put measures in place to avoid mass infections.

“We need to note that these viruses will continue to emerge and find the easiest ways to grow and so we need to educate ourselves and find the best ways to handle them.”

He was optimistic government will live up to the task of containing the disease in case of an outbreak.

Already, the Service has cautioned the public to thoroughly cook meat and eggs, be physically active, eating well as well as drinking plenty of fluids as ways to avoid being infected.

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