General News of Thursday, 1 January 2015
President John Mahama has said Ghana’s Ebola-free status is the handiwork of God.
“It beats my understanding. I mean look at Ebola: It crossed the Atlantic [Ocean], went to the United States.
“Is it for nothing that we haven’t suffered a single incident? Is it because we have such extraordinary public health officials? God has a hand in it,” he said when he joined Bishop Charles Agyin Asare of the Perez Chapel at Dzorwulu and thousands of worshippers on December 31, 2014 to cross over into the New Year.
The haemorrhagic virus has killed nearly 8,000 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where it was first identified in March 2014.
Other African countries including neighbouring Nigeria also got hit by the virus albeit on a minor scale which was quickly contained.
Despite Ghana’s proximity to these countries and the use of the country’s national capital, Accra as the hub for coordinating operations in the World Health Organization’s fight against the virus, not one case has been confirmed in the cocoa producing West African country.
Close to 200 suspected cases that were tested by the country’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) at the University of Ghana came out negative.
Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, such as blood, vomit or faeces.
The WHO says the number of people infected by the disease in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has now passed 20,000.
A British nurse who contracted the virus in Sierra Leone is “as well as we can hope for at this stage”, the hospital treating her has said, according to reports by the BBC.
Pauline Cafferkey is receiving an experimental anti-viral drug and blood from survivors of the disease at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.
Apart from the UK, the virus also infected a few people in Spain and the United States.
President Mahama says he believes Ghana’s escape from the disease was by divine intervention.