The offices of the Norwegian Embassy and the United Nation (UN) agencies in Ghana have shut down indefinitely after it turned out their one staff from each agency has the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.
The unnamed UN staff and the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana are the two officially confirmed Covid-19 cases in Ghana as announced by the Ministry of Health.
“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. Routine contact tracing has commenced. The Embassy is closed to the public until further notice, but staff are operating from home. We urge everybody to follow the preventive measures issued by the WHO and Ghanaian authorities,” read a statement from the Norwegian Embassy on their social media platform.
While the UN staff had reportedly returned to Ghana from travel in Turkey on 29th February 2020 and fell ill shortly after, the Norwegian Ambassador had also returned from an official engagement in his home country which has been badly hit by Covid-19.
Upon his return, the Norwegian Ambassador Holm reportedly held a party in his home where students from the German Swiss School were in attendance.
Many of these students and their parents have reportedly gone into self-quarantine.
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the Ministry of Health has confirmed the two cases of Covid-19.
A statement released by the Ministry this night (March 12, 2020), says laboratory test of the two cases at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research proved positive.
“Fellow Ghanaians, the Ministry of Health has confirmed two cases of COVID-19. The cases were confirmed on the 12th March 2020, and the first cases to be reported in Ghana,” read a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
The cases according to the Health Minister were reported as ‘imported cases’ as both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey. “Both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey. So these are imported cases of COVID-19,” the statement read.
These are the first official cases of the COVID-19 pandemic to test positive in Ghana after almost four months since the deadly virus had ravaged most parts of the world. Earlier, 57 suspected cases in Ghana all tested negative.