Blood samples of a suspected Covid-19 case at the University of Cape Coast Hospital has been sent to the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute for testing.
The head of the UCC Directorate of Health Services, Dr. Evans Ekenam confirmed this development to ATL FM news. The victim is currently in isolation receiving medical attention. The result is expected by close of Wednesday, March 18.
“It is true that there is a patient we suspect to have been infected with Coronavirus who has been sent to an isolation ward where he is being cared for and his sample has also been sent to Noguchi”, he said.
According to the director, the patient is a fifty year old American with Ghanaian descent who arrived in the country five days ago. He is said to have reported to the University hospital presenting symptoms similar to that of the coronavirus.
He indicated that upon confirmation of the test, contact tracing will begin to quell the possible spread of the virus within the metropolis.
The University Hospital in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to Dr. Ekenam has a rapid response team and a technical team tasked to handle the situation.
“We have a rapid response team made up of the School of Nursing, Medical School, Office of the Dean of Students and the Students’ Representative Council”, he said.
Dr. Ekenam lamented the scarcity of protective clothing for the technical team.
“The scarcity of protective clothing is a challenge for the University Hospital, UCC and for which they have sought help from the Regional Health Directorate, Cape Coast, and the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Ekenam has called for calm regardless of the outcome of the test. There has been wide spread social media speculation of a case of the Covid 19 being recorded at the University hospital sending fear among members of the university community and adjoining communities.
According to him, “all national protocols would be duly followed and all necessary actions would be expertly taken should the test come out positive”.
He also admonished the public to “pray for health workers in this time especially, and not to panic as contracting the disease does not necessarily mean one is going to die”.
A visit to the hospital by ATL FM NEWS revealed that there has been mounted canopies at the various entrance to the hospital. Health workers are positioned at these areas to screen both patients and visitors who enter the hospital premises. The health professionals are also offering basic hygyenic tips on how to stay safe from the virus to all those who visit the facility.