Coronavirus: Ghana’s foreign mission in China activates hotlines for Ghanaians

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has activated two hotlines for parents or guardians with wards in Wuhan and its environs in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus that originated from that Chinese city.

The telephone numbers can be used by parents and guardians to contact authorities and get first-hand information on the situation on the ground.

The telephone numbers are *86 18612084232 or *86 186 12959040.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, the Ministry said the Embassy of Ghana in Beijing and the Consulate-General in Guangzhou are in contact with the leadership of the Ghanaian community and the National Union of Ghana Students-China for prompt updates on the welfare of all Ghanaian nationals.

“The Mission has advised all Ghanaians to stay indoors and adhere to preventive precautions outlined by Chinese authorities,” the statement said.

“Currently, no Ghanaian has contracted the novel coronavirus even though we have about One Hundred and fifty-two (l 52) students in Wuhan where the virus was first reported. Again, the Embassy is in contact with the students and is liaising with their leadership, the Wuhan Foreign Office and Universities to ensure the continued safety of our students and the provision of necessities,” the statement added.

Coronavirus update

At least 5,578 people are now confirmed as infected and undergoing treatment, and the death toll has reached 131.

Some 125 of those deaths are isolated to Hubei Province in central China. The largest city of Hubei is Wuhan, the epicentre of the current outbreak which first came to light in mid-December last year.

Thailand’s health ministry has now confirmed 14 cases of coronavirus, the second-most of any country behind China.

Thailand has also confirmed that five of the six confirmed cases were members of the same Chinese family who had travelled from Hubei province together. The sixth, also a Chinese tourist, came from Chongqing, south-west of Hubei in central China.

Ghana’s preparedness to fight coronavirus

Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has designated the Ridge Hospital (Greater Accra Regional Hospital) and Tema General Hospital as initial case management centres in Accra to deal with the Corona Virus Infection.

The Ministry said in a press release that Regional Directors across the country have also been instructed to designate holding or treatment centres in their respective regions.

“We are preparing to designate more centres in the highly populated areas of Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Also, Case Management Teams have been activated to manage cases at the designated national centres and are currently receiving orientation on the management of possible coronavirus cases, the statement said.

Ghana’s Ministry of Health has extended enhanced passenger screening at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to all international arrivals.

The filling of health declaration forms by only passengers with connections from China, which began on January 24, 2020, now covers all arrivals at the KIA.

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