West and Central Africa COVID-19 Digest

Situation Report
Trends

Ghana

Ghana has confirmed more than 45,000 COVID-19 cases

  • First case: 12 March 2020

  • Total cases: 45,655 (as of 16 September 2020)

  • Total deaths: 294

  • Schools: Universities and schools reopened on 15 June to allow for final-year university, senior high and junior high school learners to resume classes for their exams.

  • Borders/flights: Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for regular international passenger travel on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Ghana’s land and sea borders remain closed until further notice. 

    Individuals arriving in Ghana by air must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin not more than 72 hours prior to departure.

    • Upon arrival, each traveler age five and over must undergo a COVID-19 test conducted at the airport.

    • The test carries a $150 fee per person. Each traveler must pay the fee online at 

    • and present proof of payment to the airline prior to boarding.

    • Test results will usually be available within 30 minutes. Travelers who test negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to enter Ghana with no quarantine requirement. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will complete arrival procedures with the help of airport health officials before transfer to Ga East Municipal Hospital for clinical assessment and management.

  • Containment measures:

    • Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for regular international passenger travel on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Ghana’s land and sea borders remain closed until further notice.  See the Entry and Exit Requirements section below.

    • The Ministry of Health has mandated the use of facemasks in public. The police are enforcing this directive.

    • Restaurants are operating with appropriate social distancing precautions. Conferences, workshops, weddings, and private burials are permitted with a maximum attendance of 100 persons.  Religious services may operate at full capacity for up to two hours per service.

    • Large sporting events, political rallies, and festivals are suspended until further notice. Nightclubs, bars, beaches, and cinemas must also remain closed until further notice.

    • Open-air drinking establishments and Ghana’s national tourists sites/attractions are open.

Situation:

Ghana recorded more 45,655 cases as of 16 September and 294 deaths.

Response:

The Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee(IMCC) has been set up by President Nana Akufo-Addo, it is the apex coordinating body for the COVID-19 response.

The National Technical Coordinating Committee (NTCC) serves as a technical expert committee in the monitoring of the implementation.The NTCC is chaired by Ghana Health Service’s Director General and co-chaired by WHO.

The National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) is the mechanism responsible for coordinating COVID-19 response activities (Director, Public Health). It is activated when there is an outbreak and the activation scaled-up depending on the risks and epidemiological situation of the outbreak.

In Ghana, the UN coordination structure is as follows:

•UNRC a.i./Designated Official, advised by the COVID-19 Outbreak Coordination Committee

•UN Country Team/Security Management Team

•Five UNCT / SMT sub-working groups related to the COVID-19 response: 1)Medical SWG; 2) Psychosocial Support SWG; 3) Communications SWG; 4) Operations Management SWG; 5) Programme Response SWG.

UNDP is working with the UN Country Team to support Government in finalizing and implementing its response plan.The Programme Response Working Group of the Outbreak Response Coordination Mechanism for UN Ghana leads the development of a costed UN Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP) for Ghana in partnership with the national authorities. UNDP is a member of the team that is mapping out UN Capacity, comparative advantage and coordinated offer (current and potential) to support the national response. The World Bank is providing $100 million to Ghana to assist the country in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic as short, medium and long-term support. This financing package includes $35 million in emergency support to help the country provide improved response systems. Under this emergency package the World Bank will support the Government of Ghana to help prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Ghana Emergency Preparedness and Response Project (EPRP). The EPRP will help strengthen Ghana’s National Laboratories by providing robust systems for the early detection of COVID-19 cases and providing real time disease surveillance and reporting systems of outbreaks. It will also improve the response system by providing social and financial support and free health services to COVID-19 patients and families who are isolated or quarantined.

Useful links:

https://ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

https://www.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/COVID-19-CO-Response/undp-rba-covid-ghana-apr2020.pdf

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