Ghanaian News

Coronavirus: We can’t disclose location of 100-bed quarantine center – Minister

Though government said it has secured a 100-bed facility aimed at quarantining persons who will be diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus, the location would be kept a secret for now.

The facility is expected to be ready in two weeks, Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu announced on Wednesday.

Addressing the media, the Health Minister said the ministry cannot make public the location of the 100-bed quarantine centre for fear of creating panic.

He indicated that some Chinese nationals are currently facing discrimination because of the outbreak of the coronavirus which originated from China, specifically the city of Wuhan killing over 3,000 people globally.

Already, three cases have been reported in West Africa: one in Nigeria and two in Senegal.

Though about 40 suspected cases have been reported in Ghana, they all tested negative.

So far isolation centres have been created in two hospitals – Tema General Hospital and Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge) – to quarantine suspected cases. Also, all teaching hospitals across the country, as well as major health facilities, have been put on standby in case of emergency.

Having inspected some of these facilities in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said he is satisfied with the country’s preparation to contain the coronavirus.

But, some health analysts have described the country’s readiness to contain the virus as a “joke”. The WHO for instance assessment indicated that Ghana was challenged with inadequate funding to implement various preparedness activities planned.

Nevertheless, the Health Minister, Agyemang-Manu is confident Ghana has put in place adequate measures to manage the situation in case of outbreak in the country.

“Remotely located 100-bed capacity facility is being secured for the purpose of quarantine for eligible persons,” he told Parliament earlier.

He later explained to the media that “Some of us may not want to go home if we announced that the facility is behind their houses. So in these instances, there are certain things that are kept quiet and people should not know where we are.

“So we are not announcing where these places are. We just want to make sure there is no too many unnecessary agitation and pressure on us.”

Meanwhile, the minister has advised the general public to desist from handshaking as much as possible in the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The minister says non-essential travels to and from affected countries must be discouraged.

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