The University of Ghana has stepped up measures to prevent and contain a possible outbreak on the campuses of the University. 

The measures, according to the premier university, takes immediate effect and will be periodically modified to keep up with evolving trends of the pandemic.

“Until further notice, hall week celebrations are suspended with immediate effect.  Similarly, other large student gatherings are suspended forthwith. In exceptional cases, clearance for large gatherings must be sought from the Office of the Pro-VC, ASA,” the university said in a statement.

It said all major international and national events slated to take place on UG campuses are suspended and will be re-scheduled.

Also, the university has allowed internal programmes involving students and faculty but said the following appropriate infection prevention measures must be observed:

-Avoiding handshakes

– Proper handwashing with soap – under running water for at least one minute should be done frequently

– Proper application of alcohol-based hand sanitizers

– No touching of face, eyes, nose and mouth

– Cover your cough and sneeze with tissue or flexed elbow

– Proper disposal of used tissues

“The University Community is to limit large internal events as much as possible. Appropriate spacing and adequate ventilation must be provided under these circumstances. Clearance must be sought for large meetings from the Office of the Pro-VC, ASA,” the university added.

These measures follow the Ghana Health Service confirmed that two cases of the novel coronavirus to have tested positive.

The following were also contained in the statement issued on Friday.

Preventive Measures

Sensitisation on COVID-19 has begun at the Legon Campus and is being extended to Korle Bu and Accra City Campuses and subsequently to the Learning Centres and other related units of the University, such as the University Basic School and Baby Nest Creche.

Information, Education and Communication materials are being developed and have been distributed electronically.  Notices and posters are also being used as information material.

The University is procuring sensor-assisted alcohol-based hand sanitizers which will be installed at all halls of residence, academic facilities and administrative units.

Veronica buckets are to be installed at all University-approved markets.

Service providers such as food vendors, hairdressers, barbers etc., who provide services to members of the community are also to enhance their hygienic practices. The University will provide continuous education.

In addition to the above, employees and students who develop symptoms of the common cold should stay away from public places and events such as school, library, lectures, meetings, religious gatherings, etc.

Screening

The University Hospital and the Students’ Clinics have been designated to screen possible cases. A screening tent has been set up at the entrance of the hospital to identify suspected cases for testing. Persons who are tested will be held until the results are available (within a minimum of 6 hours). Those who test positive will be sent to the national case management centres (Ridge or Tema).

Suspected cases identified at the Students’ Clinic will be referred to the university hospital for management.

Creation of Quarantine Facilities

Some facilities on campus have been designated as quarantine zones.

An individual who has a positive travel history or has come into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, but has no symptoms will be held under observation in a quarantine facility for a period of 14 days.

Individuals who can self-quarantine will be encouraged to do so. In case they develop any illness, they should call UG Hospital: +233 595551971, for assistance.

External travel

All non-essential international travel (of all employees and students) has been put on hold until further notice. Staff, staff dependents, students including international students who must travel should seek clearance from the Office of the Vice Chancellor with UG Emergency Response Team (UG-ERT) playing an advisory role.

Members of the university community are to use technology to facilitate meetings, lectures and other activities as much as possible.

External Visitors

The University is suspending hosting of international visitors until further notice. The Office of the Vice-Chancellor will consider critical requests.

All tours to the University are suspended until further notice.

The UG-ERT is monitoring the situation and will provide regular updates.

Meanwhile, members of the community are advised to take the necessary precautionary measures outlined in university notices and information on COVID-19.  That responsibility is what we owe to ourselves, our families and other members of the community.

For assistance, the following hotlines can be reached:

UG Hospital: +233 595551971

National COVID-19 hotline: 0552222004

National COVID-19 hotline: 0552222005