Health authorities in Ghana have initiated contact tracing in the five newly confirmed novel coronavirus cases recorded in the country Friday morning.
As at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, at the time the country’s national tally of the disease stood at 11, health officials had traced 399 persons who were said to have had contacts with the infected persons and were being monitored.
Of the figure, 19 of them developed some symptoms of the deadly virus, prompting authorities to subject them to testing but the results of 15 of them came out negative, while officials said the four were outstanding at the time.
Following the sudden surge in the number of confirmed cases from 11 to 16 in less than 24 hours, the Ghana Health Service said Friday that “contact tracing has been initiated in all these confirmed [new] cases” in a bid to stem further spread of the disease.
From the first two confirmed cases on March 12, and a daily steady rise, Ghana has within eight days recorded a total of 16 cases of the global pandemic but no fatalities so far.
Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show more than 209,000 people have now been infected by the coronavirus worldwide and killed at least 8,000 people globally. The pandemic has caused health crisis in some nations.
At least 86,000 have recovered from COVID-19, data from Johns Hopkins University in the US has also revealed.
The five new cases confirmed in Ghana involved three localized infections as authorities say they have no travel history.
Ghana Health Service officials at the forefront of the disease are unable to tell how two of the localized cases were contracted because they have neither travelled outside Ghana nor had known contact with an infected person.
In the case of the 53-year-old Ghanaian male in Tema, officials say “no history of travel, no evidence of close contact with confirmed case”.
For the 29-year-old Ghanaian lady of Accra, officials did not say how she got the disease except to say her “sample confirmed positive in the laboratory”.
However, for a 34-year-old Ghanaian lady resident of Accra, she was said to have contacted an infected person her place of work.
A statement issued moments ago by the Ghana Health Service said all the five new cases were reported from Greater Accra Region and involved Ghanaians.
The fourth case is a 41-year-old Ghanaian male who arrived in Ghana by KLM on the 15 March 2020.
“[He] indicated exposure with family members in Amsterdam exhibiting respiratory symptoms and also on the flight with some passengers sneezing and coughing; sample confirmed positive in the laboratory,” the Ghana Health Service stated.
A 36-year-old Ghanaian male resident in Paris, France although arrived in Ghana with an unconfirmed case, he later tested positive.
Officials said there is “no evidence of contact with infected person”.
Though no death has been recorded in the country since the first two confirmed cases were recorded on March 12, there are fears the situation could get worse as Ghana appears to be moving from steady rise to a surge with localized cases being recorded.
Ghana has since March 15 taken a series of measures including a ban on social gatherings for the next four weeks, closure of schools and a ban on non-citizens from countries worst hit by the global pandemic from entering Ghana.