The Head of Virology at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in Accra, Professor William Ampofo says his outfit is prepared to handle any suspected case of the Coronavirus strain should it surface in Ghana.
According to him, Noguchi will take delivery of test kits in the course of this week.
In a radio interview on Accra-based Joy FM on Monday [February 3, 2020], Professor Ampofo said “we are actually expecting the shipment of the new Coronavirus kits.”
“I am very confident that by next week Noguchi will be able to provide confirmation or screening specific to the strain of Coronavirus. We also have a chain of international laboratories who will be able to provide confirmation should we pick up any suspected cases. So, for testing, there’s quite a solid system that has been set up to deal with suspected cases.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus as a global emergency following the death of about 361 Chinese and as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.
As at February 3, 2020, there are 17,488 confirmed general cases of the virus with 362 deaths of which 361 of the deaths were recorded in China and one in the Philippines.
How deadly is the virus?
More than 75,000 people may have been infected in the city of Wuhan, experts say.
But estimates by the University of Hong Kong suggest the total number of cases could be far higher than the official figures.
A report on the early stages of the outbreak by the Lancet medical journal said most patients who died from the virus had pre-existing conditions.
The report found that, of the first 99 patients treated at the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, 40 had a weak heart or damaged blood vessels. A further 12 had diabetes.
Most people infected are likely to fully recover – just as they would from a normal flu.
An expert at China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said that one week was sufficient for a recovery from mild coronavirus symptoms.
Meanwhile, Thai doctors have seen success in treating severe cases of the new coronavirus with combination of medications for flu and HIV, with initial results showing vast improvement 48 hours after applying the treatment, they said on Sunday.