Stay at home for own safety, public urged

Accra, March 29, GNA – Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has appealed to the public to comply with the President’s directive on the two-week partial lockdown of some parts of the country effective Monday, March 30, 2020.

He said this is a necessary exercise, to curb the further spread of COVID-19 infections among the populace and reminded the public to stay at home for the safety of all.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye, who was giving an update on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at a press briefing on Sunday, said the entire exercise must be given serious attention.

He said as was already mentioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his fourth televised address to the nation, the objective was to achieve five key objectives which sought to among others, limit and stop the importation of the virus which has been successfully achieved, and the next step was contained it’s spread.

He said the support of the security services including the army and police has been to ensure the enforcement of the exercise, with an emphasis of not arresting people and putting them in custody, but that people would understand the dangers posed by the pandemic globally and cooperate with the authorities to curb its spread.

Dr Kuma -Aboagye later gave a list of designated healthcare facilities in all the regions, where people with any healthcare challenges regarding COVID-19 could report for attention.

He also said the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital are mobilizing staff to handle the situation, while Accra, Tema and Kumasi have also trained more contact tracing teams, with additional support by psychologists for better interaction with affected persons and their communities.

He pleaded with the public to ensure early reporting of symptoms of suspected COVID-19 cases rather than hiding and presenting cases late to health facilities.

Dr Kaizia Malm, a Member of the Contact Tracing Team, said they have currently a pull of contacts that have been traced and the team is pursuing an aggressive testing programme for all of them.

She said the team would also pursue all the 2,400 persons who arrived with a total of 14 different flights before the travel ban was issued among others, and would maintain active surveillance to ensure that all cases were detected and tested.

She said the team currently does an average of 20 contacts per person, and when persons were not yet showing symptoms, they were made to self-quarantine at home with support from healthcare personnel, while those with severe conditions were sent to treatment facilities for further management.