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Coronavirus: UNDP, UNICEF shut Ghana offices over recorded case

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United Nation (UN) agencies in Ghana have shut down their offices and asked workers to stay home after it emerged one of the two recorded coronavirus cases in Ghana is their employee.

This was contained in a correspondence from UN authorities in Ghana to their staff Friday, following the announcement by the Health Ministry.

According to the memo sighted by Joy News, the patient who “returned to Ghana from travel in Turkey on 29th February 2020, started feeling ill 2 days ago (Tuesday).”

The colleague’s last day of work on UN premises was Thursday 12th March 2020,” the statement further disclosed.

The Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu at a news conference on Thursday said the two cases, which originated from Norway and Turkey were confirmed yesterday by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

“Laboratory results of the two confirmed cases were received at the same time from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research. Both individuals returned to Ghana – one from Norway and the other from Turkey – so these are imported cases of COVID-19,” he announced.

According to the Minister, “both patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable” adding that processes for contact tracing had been initiated.

It, however, directed staff “normally working at the UNDP-UNICEF compound” to conduct their activities remotely from their various homes as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Explaining how the staff contracted the virus, hours after the announcement, the UN body said the sufferer worked until the morning of 12 March 2020 from his office at the UNDP building.

“I in coordination with the representatives of all agencies based at the UNDP-UNICEF compound and as endorsed by HQs management, have decided out of precaution and for the safety and wellbeing of our staff, that staff normally working at the UNDP-UNICEF compound should work from home,” one of the bosses who signed the communique said.

The directive, per the communiqué, stays in place until “contact tracing is concluded and decisions taken in coordination with the national authorities.”

The staff is said to be in good hands and “under medical observation and receiving excellent care at an assigned government hospital.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also says it is shutting down its office in Ghana to test its capacity to manage the Coronavius pandemic.

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