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General News of Sunday, 29 March 2020

Source: GNA

Government to test all persons exposed to coronavirus patients


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Government has declared its intention to use the period of restriction of movement, effective Monday, March 30, 2020, to trace and test all persons who have come into contact with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

“The restriction of movement will give us the opportunity to try to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they prove to have the virus.

“We will also pursue a policy of testing all contacts of people tested positive.”

The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the nation for the fourth time on the updates to Ghana’s enhanced response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To accelerate the contact tracing process, and curtail the spread of the virus in the shortest time, the President said Government would use the military and police to assist health authorities to expedite the process.

He noted that the affected areas, and all other regions had earmarked designated isolation and treatment centres for the management of suspected and confirmed cases, and the selection of facilities for mandatory quarantine was being carried out.

An intensive public health education and community awareness on social distancing and hand washing will be carried out, he said.

Another measure put in place by government was to make available a minimum of one billion Cedis (GH¢1 billion) to households and businesses, particularly small and medium scale enterprises.

The commercial banks, he said, were responding to the Bank of Ghana’s 1.5 per cent decrease in the Policy Pate and 2 per cent in reserve requirement with a three billion-cedi (GH¢3 billion) facility, to support industry especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, service and manufacturing sectors.

Government, with these moves, intend to limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread, provide adequate care for the sick, limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life and inspire the expansion of domestic capability and deepen the nation’s self-reliance.

In respect of the contact tracing, a total of 1,006 contacts have been identified and are being tracked, out of which 204 have completed the 14 days mandatory follow up, says the Ghana Health Service Portal on COVID-19 as at the 19:00 hours of Friday, March 27, 2020.

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