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General News of Saturday, 16 May 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

Tackling 533 coronavirus positive cases at fish processing plant

The Tema COVID-19 Response Team last week commenced meticulous tracing and testing of people who have interacted with the 533 employees that tested positive at the Fish Processing Company in Tema.

Those who tested positive were initially made to self-isolate but have now been sent to official isolation centres where they are being treated.

The Tema Metropolitan Health Director, Dr Sally Quartey, disclosed this Wednesday when the team toured some industries in Tema to have a firsthand view of measures being implemented to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus.

The team visited the Unilever Ghana factory, KaysensGaisie Limited and the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC).

Though Dr Quartey did not indicate the number of contacts so far reached she noted personnel undertaking the exercise were doing their best to track, counsel and test all those concerned in a bid to rein in the deadly virus.

It is recalled that in a state address on Sunday President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo disclosed that one person infected 533 employees in a fish processing company in Tema.

Nana Addo added that the 533 positive cases, which represent around 11.3% of Ghana’s total infections, were part of a backlog of about 921 cases going back as far as April 26 that was only recently been reported.

Dr Quartey cautioned employees to make a conscious effort to wash their hands often with soap under running water whenever they touched surfaces and door handles.

She explained that most companies had provided hygiene stations at vantage points for employees to sanitise but “one’s attitude to utilise the resource and the commitment to social distancing is another thing”.

She stressed the need for individuals to be responsible and do whatever they could to avoid contracting the virus as some people being asymptomatic harboured the virus without showing any signs.

At the Uniliver plant, the Supply Chain Director, Bernie Conyers, conducted the team round the Lipton factory and the workers' canteen after they had rigorously gone through temperature tests and handwashing protocols.

At the canteen, Mr Conyers said employees had lunch on a rotational basis(social distancing) and only two employees sat at the opposite ends of a table previously occupied by about four people.

The company doctor, Dr Kwaku Sarkodie, said a building in their yard had been reserved as a quarantine bay for any person with fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 while arrangements for the intervention of the Tema Metropolitan COVID-19 Response Team are made.

At the KaysensGaisie Limited the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Helena Gaisie Stevens, briefed the team on measures being implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

She said the hygiene protocols were being observed religiously adding, unlike previously when a lot of persons loaded or offloaded trucks now only four people handled that.

“Two stand about two meters apart in the truck whilst two others do same on the ground to execute their task,” she explained.

At CPC the Managing Director, Nana Agyenim Boateng, conducting the team round the plant, said the company was implementing the World Health Organisation hygiene protocols to the letter.

He said the company had donated 5,000 cartons of its product ‘royale’ to the Ministry of Health to help boost the immune system of front line health personnel and patients to fight COVID-19.

The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, Felix Nii Anang-La, encouraged the management and employees of the companies to continue to implement the hygiene protocols to help contain the spread of the virus.

Nii Anang-La who is also the Chairman of the Tema Metropolitan COVID-19 Response Team urged residents not to panic about the figures coming up in the area but to adhere strictly to the containment measures being rolled out.

He said the assembly was distributing 20,000 nose masks to vulnerable people in the area and working with the security agencies to ensure all support efforts to bring the disease under control.

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