Ghanaian Worker Infects 500 With Coronavirus
12 May 2020
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A single worker at a fish factory in Ghana infected 533 co-workers with coronavirus in an incident that now accounts for roughly 11 per cent of the west African country’s total recorded infections.

The so-called “superspreader” event happened at a fish processing plant in the port city of Tema last month, President Nana Akufo-Addo said during a national address on Sunday night. The infections were identified as part of a roughly two-week backlog of nearly 1,000 cases that had only just been reported, the president said.

With more than 160,000 samples inspected, Ghana has one of the highest per capita testing rates in sub-Saharan Africa, where many countries lack the resources to test widely.

The government is employing a “pool testing” strategy, which involves collectively reviewing up to 10 samples together and then only individually testing those in positive batches.

The fish factory was an isolated incident, Mr Akufo-Addo said, but warned that Ghana’s case numbers would continue to rise above the current 4,700 confirmed infections as the country of 30m increased testing.

“The implementation of our strategy of aggressively tracing, testing and treating is our surest way of rooting out the virus,” he said. “The more people we test for the virus, the more persons we will discover as positive,” he said.

Mr Akufo-Addo added that the WHO had contacted Ghana to “share our sample pooling experience with other African countries, so they can adopt this strategy and also ramp up their testing capabilities.”

Mr Akufo-Addo’s speech came three weeks after he eased a 21-day lockdown on the capital Accra and the city of Kumasi, in the centre of the country, over concerns about economic repercussions for the many Ghanians who work in the informal economy and live hand-to-mouth.

A similar debate is taking place in capitals across the continent, even as caseloads continue to mount and experts warn that the pandemic’s peak is still at least a month away.

The president said Ghana’s ban on mass gatherings and the closure of schools and universities would continue until the end of the month.- Financial Times