Coronavirus: We’re working to prevent an outbreak-MOH

The Ministry of Health has reiterated its preparedness towards a possible case of the Coronavirus.

A statement issued by the ministry stated that the preparedness and response have been focused on specific thematic areas to ensure that the Ghanaian population is protected.

The statement added: Enhanced screening including the use of health declaration form the existing health declaration form has been modified to suit the current outbreak. The administration of the health declaration form started on Friday 24th January 2020 and was restricted initially to airlines with connections to China. Currently, the declaration form is applied to all international arrivals at Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport. Screening for fever using the walk-through thermometers and non-contact thermometers are ongoing at KIA and other points of entry.”

”The MoH continues to work with the World Health Organisation country office for Ghana and other partners to continuously monitor the situation and institute measures to prevent an outbreak in Ghana. We continue to urge the general public and all stakeholders to support efforts at preventing 2019-nCoV in Ghana,” the statement which was issued by the Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said.

Chinese authorities have said the death toll from the new coronavirus now stands at 106, as cases of new infections have almost doubled in a day.

The number of total confirmed cases in China rose to 4,515 as of 27 January, up from 2,835 a day earlier.

Travel restrictions have been tightened and wearing masks in public is now mandatory in some cities, the BBC reports.

The city of Wuhan is at the epicentre of the outbreak but it has spread across China and internationally.

Read the full statement below

PRESS RELEASE
UPDATE ON GHANA’S PREPAREDNESS- NOVEL CORONAVIRUS INFECTION (27th JANUARY 2020)
The Ministry of Health has since the recent outbreak of the Novel Corona Virus Infection (2019-nCoV) in China, initiated steps to prevent and control any case that may be detected in Ghana. The preparedness and response have been focused on specific thematic areas to ensure that the Ghanaian population is protected. Subsequent to the earlier release on the 2019-nCoV on the 21st January 2020, the MoH has triggered the National Emergency preparedness and response plan based on the following thematic areas:
1. Coordination
a. National Technical Coordination Committee Meeting- this committee is constituted by experts from the Ministry of Health,
Ghana Health Service, the World Health Organisation, Veterinary
Services Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical
Research (NMIMIR), the Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention among others. The meeting was held on the 23 rd January 2020 and regular meetings are scheduled to update and review national response
b. Activation of Regional and District Public Health Emergency Management Committee (PHEMC)- this is constituted by regional and district level leadership of all sectors including local government, security services, health and other key partners.
Alerts have been sent to all regions and districts.
2. Surveillance
a. Develop case definition- A case definition has been developed to help clinicians detect potential cases and manage appropriately.
b. Send Alert to Regions and Teaching Hospitals — Alerts have been sent to all regions and Teaching Hospitals including the points of entries on the outbreak. The alert also detailed clinical features of the infection and gave guidance on prevention.
c. Sensitisation of Healthcare Workers (HCW)- Ongoing sensitisation of health care staff especially at the points of entry and the designated treatment centres are ongoing. Large scale sensitization and training of HCWs are also planned.
d. Active surveillance- The development of case definition and the issuance of alerts are part of measures instituted to ensure active surveillance at the various health facilities and points of entry
3. Points of Entry
a. Enhanced screening including the use of health declaration formthe existing health declaration form has been modified to suit the current outbreak. The administration of the health declaration form started on Friday 24th January 2020 and was restricted initially to airlines with connections to China. Currently, the declaration form is applied to all international arrivals at Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport. Screening for fever using the walk-through thermometers and non-contact thermometers are ongoing at KIA and other points of entry. Efforts are underway to ensure that all the points of entry have non-contact thermometers
4. Laboratory (NMIMR)
Logistics for diagnosis- Our contact with the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) indicates that they have the capacity to diagnose coronavirus infection and we have designated
NMIMR laboratory for coronavirus investigations.
5. Case Management
a. Ridge Hospital and Tema General Hospitals have been designated as initial case management centres. Regional Directors have been
b. instructed to designate holding/ treatment centres in their respective regions. We are preparing to designate more centres in the highly populated areas of Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and
Tamale.
c. Case Management Teams Activated- teams to manage cases at the designated national centres are receiving orientation on the management of cases.
6. Risk Communication
Development of social media messages for the general public. These are aimed at informing the public on the disease and to inculcate the necessary preventive measures. For further information, check out the following websites
1. www.who.int
2. www.moh.gov.gh
3. www.ghanahealthservice.org
4. www.cdc.gov
5. www.wahooas.org
Due to the evolving nature of the outbreak, it is imperative that the general public continue to observe the preventive measures outlined in the earlier press release. These measures are:
• Regular washing of hands with soap and water
• Use of alcohol hand rub where available
• Keep a distance of at least one step (one meter) from a person showing signs of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing
• When contact with a sick person or with potentially infected surfaces or objects occurs, please avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
• It is advisable to be physically active, drink plenty of water, eat well, reduce stress and have enough sleep
• People should seek treatment immediately if infection is suspected, if symptoms occur or when advised by a health worker
• Report any symptoms to the nearest health facility
The MoH continues to work with the World Health Organisation country office for Ghana and other partners to continuously monitor the situation and institute measures to prevent an outbreak in Ghana. We continue to urge the general public and all stakeholders to support efforts at preventing 2019-nCoV in Ghana
The MoH will update the nation on developments as and when they occur.
Thank you

KWAKU AGYEMAN-MANU (MP)
MINISTER FOR HEALTH

By: Rainbowradioonline.com

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