Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Ghana extend restrictive measures through at least May 10 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Severe disruptions likely.

This alert affects Ghana

This alert began 28 Apr 2020 12:43 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and movement restrictions

Summary
Authorities in Ghana have extended nationwide restrictions through at least May 10 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have also mandated the wearing of facemasks in public. All commercial transport should operate with a minimal number of passengers, and all businesses and supermarkets will enforce social distancing measures. The restrictions include banning all religious activities and funerals.

Ghana's land borders are closed through at least May 4. The status of intercity passenger travel, which officials previously suspended, is unclear.

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.

Background and Analysis
The government of Ghana has introduced and updated restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19 in recent months. These measures have mirrored restrictions implemented by governments nationwide. 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.

 


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