President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged citizens to desist from foreign travels where possible as the novel coronavirus assumes pandemic status.
Delivering an address to the nation on Wednesday evening he said: “all of us as much as possible, [must] desist from all foreign travels, except the most critical ones, until there is a grip on the virus.”
This urge comes after the President temporarily suspended foreign travels for all government officials as part of government’s measures to prevent an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
He urged officials to make use of technology during the travel ban.
“I have, as at yesterday, ordered a suspension of all international travels by public officials. Except for critical assignments, which will have to be authorised by the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, all public officials are to remain within the jurisdiction, until further notice. Video conferencing facilities and other technological tools are to be utilised, whenever possible, for international engagements.”
The President had said non-essential travels to Ghana are being strongly discouraged from high-risk countries.
In addition, he noted that there will be further enhancements of the protocols for inbound traffic from already affected countries.
So far there have been more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.
Ghana’s immediate neighbours; Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo, are among these countries that have detected cases of coronavirus.
The President, however, noted that Ghana has detected 57 suspected cases but have all turned negative.
How to protect yourself
To prevent the spread of the virus, the standard recommendations coming from the WHO are regular hand washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
We are also advised to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
WHO has also given more detailed guidelines on how workplaces can put in place proactive measures with the virus in mind.
According to Ghana’s preparedness plan for an outbreak, the state is working along the lines of WHO protocols.
The Ministry of Health has sent out alerts to all regions to update their respective preparedness plans and activate their respective public health management committees.