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Coronavirus: MP proposes committee to deal with possible outbreak

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The Member of Parliament for Nabdam has called on government to set up a multisetoral stakeholder group to be ready to battle the deadly Coronavirus virus.

The MP, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane, in a statement titled: “Coronavirus infection of human in China and its potential implications for Ghana” has appealed to the Ministry of Health to form “a multisectoral stakeholder group that will include the Ministry of Agric, Aviation, Port and Habour, Finance, Parliament and any other partner who can contribute to the fight against 2019-nCOV”.

According to him, “our socio economic status, cultural norms and religious practices such as our suburban crowded settlements, the way we perform our funerals and worship at churches, Mosque and other religious gatherings suggest that the Ministry of Health intensify it educational process.”

He also called for the resources from the Contingency Fund to be released to local radio stations, Television stations, newspapers and other methods of mass communication to carry out intensive public education.

“The earlier we start with the education, the better it is for all of us,” he added.

Designated hospitals

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has designated the Ridge Hospital and the Tema General Hospital as centres to manage possible cases of coronavirus in the country.

It said the move is part of Ghana’s plans to prevent and control any case that may be detected in the country and ultimately protect the Ghanaian population.

In a statement dated Monday, January 27, 2020, the Ministry said it has triggered the country’s emergency preparedness and response plan amidst the rising number of infections from the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in other countries of the world.

The Ministry said Regional Directors must designate treatment centres in their respective regions to deal with cases if they arise.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus are a family of viruses that cause respiratory illness such as the common cold and can affect the nose, throat and rarely it can descend down and cause bronchitis and pneumonia In some instance Diarrhoea stools have been recorded.

Coronaviruses are mostly Zoonotic that affect other animals and not man.

 However, in 2002, in Southern China, an outbreak of Coronavirus infection of human described as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome) claimed approximately the life of one out of every 10 patients infected.

 It is estimated that 774 people lost their lives out of the over 8000 cases recorded World Wide.

Also in 2012, in Saudi Arabia, there was an outbreak of a Coronavirus infection documented as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) which claimed the Iives of 298 people.

The current outbreak of Coronavirus infection has been named as 2019-nCOV.

 It is thought to have infected man from snakes in the Wuhan province of China.

Since the first case was recorded on the 31st December, 2019, over 4500 cases have now been registered with 106 deaths.

 It has also spread to 22 other provinces in China and currently.

Cases have been registered in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, U.S.A, France and Australia.

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah.

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