Ghana to meet Chinese officials over coronavirus outbreak

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The African Diplomatic Corps would soon meet with the World Health Organization to discuss protocols required to be taken regarding over 4,600 African students currently residing in the Wuhan province of China, the epi-centre of the disease outbreak.

Ghana’s Diplomatic Mission in China, is also expected to meet with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliberate on the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus infection, which hit the Asian country a few days ago.

By last Sunday, January 26, the new coronavirus had reportedly infected, at least, 2,463 people, caused at least 80 deaths, and spread to several countries, including Japan, Thailand, South Korea, United Arab Emirate and USA with the latest hit nation being La Cote d’Ivoire in Africa.

A statement signed by Mr Edward A. Boateng, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, said the meeting which was scheduled on Monday (Jan 27) would provide an opportunity for discussion on how best to manage the situation.

The Ghana Embassy in Beijing said it was seriously concerned about the well-being of Ghanaians living in the country and was, therefore, closely monitoring the situation.

It advised the public against any form of panic, and urged everyone to be each other’s keeper while sticking strictly to all prescribed precautions.

“We have reached out to the International Migration Organization and other organizations to see how best to address the issue at hand,” the statement said.

It counselled Ghanaians living in China to adhere to all health and safety protocols and also follow news updates on the disease on authentic media sources such as CCTV News, BBC, CNN and the CGTN.

“Do not take information from unapproved social media sources. Also, contact your doctor or known medical personnel if you have any medical worries,” it added.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health had earlier announced that all passengers from China to Ghana shall undergo enhanced screening and surveillance including administration of health questionnaires as a preventive measure.

Health facilities have also been alerted to prepare and manage cases in case of an outbreak.

A press release, which was signed by Mr Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Minister of Health, assured Ghanaians of adequate in-country capacity to diagnose the infection at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

While the relevant institutions under the Ghana Health Service, were collaborating with other sectors to stay vigilant and maintain surveillance, particularly, at all port of entries.

It also advised the public to observe basic hygiene practices such as regular handwashing with soap, keep distance from persons showing signs of fever and immediately seek treatment upon suspicion of infection.

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