The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has advised the Ghanaian business community to halt business trips to China and its environs to avoid contracting the deadly coronavirus.
It has also advised traders and travellers to undertake their business transactions and other communications online until the spread of the virus was brought under control.
Mr Alpha A. Shaban, the General Secretary of GUTA, who made the call in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, urged those who had recently returned or were returning from China and its environs to go for thorough medical observation.
He said they should report to the nearest health facility immediately if they started showing any symptoms of the illness as stated by health officials, for early diagnoses and treatment.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
These viruses were originally transmitted between animals and people. SARS, for instance, was believed to have been transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS travelled from a type of camel to humans.
Signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
A Coronavirus alert from the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service said it was a new form of human coronavirus infection associated with respiratory illness and characterised by fever (high body temperature), cough, breathing difficulties, sore throat or runny nose.
It is usually spread through droplets (coughing and sneezing) and close personal unprotected contacts with an infected person (touching or shaking hands).
The death toll in China is reported to have reached 106 as at January 28.