The Bui Power Authority (BPA) has asked its staff whose wards attend some three international schools which have closed down to self-quarantine for a period of two weeks following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
Staff of Bui Power who have also been in contact with employees of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have also been ordered to do same.
These instructions come on the back of the temporary closure of the Ghana International School, German Swiss School, and Lincoln Community School over the coronavirus scare.
Similarly, offices of the UNDP and UNESCO in Ghana have also followed suit.
According to BPA, this is to show its commitment to “ensuring a safe working environment” for its workers.
In a statement, it said that staff who fall in the stated categories should “submit their names to the Human Resources Unit by close of day March 13, 2020”.
Schools shut down
The Ghana International School on Friday, March 13, 2020, announced that it has temporarily closed down following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Ghana.
This was disclosed by the Head Principal of the school, Dr. Mary Ashun in a communiqué to parents, staff and community members of the school.
The school explained that the move is in line with its board’s policy on emergencies.
Other international schools in Ghana including the Lincoln Community School and the Roman Ridge school had also served notice of doing same following the outbreak.
Sources at the Lincoln Community School confirmed to Citi News that fears are high as some parents with wards in the school are working for staff at the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana and have probably come into contact with a top official of the Embassy said to have tested positive to coronavirus.
Embassies shut down
The Norwegian Embassy in Ghana shut down its operations on the same day after one of its staff tested positive to coronavirus.
“The Embassy of Norway can confirm that one of our colleagues has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The person is in quarantine and the Embassy is in close dialogue with Ghana Health Service,” the Embassy made the announcement via its Facebook page.
The Netherlands Embassy in Ghana also took the same action yesterday [Saturday].
Citing the reason for the shutdown, the Embassy said, “Following the confirmation by the Norwegian Embassy that one of its staff has tested positive for Covid-19, and given that Norwegian and Netherlands Embassies share the same building, the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana is closed down until further notice.”
Covid-19 in Ghana
In an emergency press briefing by the Information Ministry on Thursday night, March 12, 2020, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu announced that Ghana had confirmed two cases of the novel coronavirus.
The two cases according to the Minister, tested positive after laboratory tests from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research.
The cases were reported as ‘imported cases’ as both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey.
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, a day after the reports of the first cases confirmed that the two patients who tested positive for coronavirus in Ghana include a Ghanaian.
He said the patients arrived in Ghana about a week ago from Turkey and Norway.
“One of the two people who tested positive for coronavirus came from Norway, the other came from Turkey. One is a foreigner, the other is a Ghanaian based abroad who returned to the country,” he said.