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General News of Sunday, 29 March 2020

Source: GNA

Akufo-Addo affirms increase in Ghana's cases of coronavirus

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday night, affirmed that 78 of the persons put under mandatory quarantine had since tested positive for the COVID-19.

He said it was the additional confirmations that increased dramatically, the country's total number of cases to 137 as of March 27, 2020.

The President who was addressing the nation for the fourth time to give an update on measures taken against the spread of the COVID-19, indicated that at his last broadcast six days ago, Ghana recorded 21 confirmed cases of infections, with virtually all of them being imported.

He recounted the measures that were taken afterwards, including the closure of all the country's borders and the order of mandatory quarantine and testing for all the 1,030 persons who arrived at the airport at the time of the announcement till the day the borders were closed, which had yielded such results.

The President explained that 97 per cent of all confirmed cases were travellers who brought the disease from outside the shores of Ghana, and indicated that of the remaining 59 confirmed cases, 53, were receiving treatment and were doing well, and they would be discharged should their second test results prove negative, he said.

The President also said 14 of the persons were being managed from home in self-isolation, but unfortunately, four others who had tested positive for the virus, were aged and had other serious underlying medical conditions, lost their lives, but was thankful that two persons recovered.

He said so far, Ghana had succeeded in halting any importations of the virus into the country, and thanked the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians for adhering to the good hygiene and social distancing protocols announced in his first national broadcast to the nation.

He said even though it may be said that the number of infections was still relatively low, "if we act now purposefully, we have a chance of preventing an escalation of our numbers", he said.

The President, said all that the government was doing was intended to achieve five key objectives which sought to limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life, and inspire the expansion of the domestic capability and deepen self-reliance.

He said although the prevailing circumstances meant that stricter measures had to be put in place to contain and halt the spread of the virus, the country could not afford to copy blindly and do all the things some other well-developed countries were doing.

"There is no one- size- fit-all approach to this pandemic. We have a unique situation in our country, and we must take it into account in dealing with the disease while meeting all the six key WHO guidelines on the most effective ways of combating the pandemic.

The President admitted that it was important to ensure adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for the protection of all healthcare providers from getting infected.

Government has taken delivery of additional 17,000 coveralls, 350,000 masks, 17,000 goggles, 2,400 non-contact thermometers, 350,000 gloves, 25,000 sanitizers, and 30,000 test kits, to assist healthcare personnel and those undertaking contact tracing and testing, he said.

He said the government was also recruiting 1,000 volunteers to help in the endeavour, while 100 pick-up vehicles and 2,500 tablets were mobilized for the exercise.

He said to accelerate the contact tracing process, and ensure the curtail of the spread of the virus in the shortest time, the assistance of the military and the police were sought to assist health authorities to expedite the process, adding that the government would also pursue a policy of testing all contacts of people who tested positive.

He appealed to the public to continue to observe the social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols, saying, they were the crucial weapons of their defence against the virus.

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