Health officials in Tema are on high alert over fears that the deadly Coronavirus reported in China and other parts of the world could find its way into Ghana through the seaport.
They explained that aside airports and borders, a significant number of foreign nationals, including Chinese, enter the country via the Tema entry point, hence the fear of a possible outbreak of the disease.
The strategic location of Tema and its constant interaction with foreigners, they say, pose serious risk and there was the need for health officials in the metropolis to put up necessary measures to contain cases should there be an outbreak.
Medical Director at the Tema General Hospital, Dr Richard Anthony, said the emergency response team is ready.
“A team from Ghana Health Service was here on Tuesday to test our readiness with a simulation exercise at the isolation centre at Tema General Hospital. Personnel have been put on high alert.
“Influenza surveillance has always been ongoing by the Public Health Department and necessary structures are in place to tackle this head on,” he said.
Speaking on the sidelines at a performance review for 2019 in Tema, Metro Health Director, Dr Sally Quartey assured residents of adequate preparation at the various facilities.
“At the peripheries, they are stocking up with Personal Protective Equipment, pharmacies ready; Disease Control Officers are monitoring the situation closely in the consulting rooms, etc.
“There are isolated areas to handle suspected cases. Patients will, however, be referred to the facility at the General Hospital for further care if the need be”, Dr Quartey said.
Since outbreak of the disease in December last year in China, the flu-like virus has claimed about 170 lives with about 8,000 persons affected.
A number of countries apart from China have confirmed the outbreak pushing authorities in Ghana to step up readiness.
Aside the Tema General Hospital, Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge) is expected to handle suspected cases of novel Coronavirus.