Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities ease lockdown measures in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. Land borders remain closed through May 4 due to coronavirus disease activity.

This alert affects Ghana

This alert began 20 Apr 2020 11:10 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through May 4
  • Impact: Travel and movement restrictions

Summary
Authorities in Ghana will ease restrictions in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area beginning April 20. The measure was first imposed March 30 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents of these areas will be permitted to return to work; however, restrictions, including school closures and a ban on public gatherings, remain in force. The status of intercity passenger travel, which was previously suspended, is unclear. Furthermore, President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo April 19 extended the closure of Ghana's land borders from April 20 until at least May 4.

These measures complement earlier restrictions, including the ongoing suspension of international inbound and outbound passenger flights. The transport of essential goods and repatriation flights for foreign nationals is ongoing. Delays to the transport of goods are likely given enhanced screening measures.

Security forces will almost certainly deploy to monitor and manage social distancing restrictions. Clashes between police and persons not complying with the regulations are possible. Residual business and public transport disruptions are likely through April and early May.

The US Embassy issued a Health Alert April 4 noting that some foreign nationals had been impacted by verbal harassment due to misconceptions that foreigners are responsible for spreading COVID-19. There have been similar reports across the region in recent weeks. There have been no physical attacks reported in Ghana as of April 20.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo. Foreign nationals should maintain a low public profile.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Ghana Ministry of Health: www.moh.gov.gh