A worker at a fish-processing factory in Tema, Ghana’s Atlantic seafront city, infected 533 other workers at the facility with Coronavirus, according to Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Medical authorities reported the outbreak happened on Friday but did not provide further details.
“533 persons were infected by one person only,” Akufo-Addo said. However, he did not clarify how the virus spread in the facility or if safety measures had been in place.
He said that the 533 new positive cases, which represent the 11.3% of Ghana’s total infections, were built-up of the new 921 cases that are only recently being reported. In total, Ghana’s infections are about 4,700 as of Sunday night report, representing the highest number of infections in West Africa.
Tema has two large fish-processing plants, one owned by Thai Union Group PCL, the world’s top producer of canned tuna, and the other one owned by a local company called Cosmo Seafoods Company Ltd.
The head of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Abraham Koomson, declared that the 533 cases were at Thai Union’s Pioneer Food Cannery Limited facility and that it had closed down immediately after the contagion. He added that some of Cosmo Seafoods workers had also tested positive.
A Thai Union spokesman did not comment the accident, and neither did Cosmo Seafoods.
The president said 22 people have died of coronavirus-related causes, and 494 cases were hospitalised.
With 160,501 tests since the outbreak, Akufo-Addo said Ghana had carried out more tests per million people than any other country in Africa.
“The implementation of an aggressively tracing strategy represents our surest way of rooting out the virus,” Akufo-Addo said.
He also announced an extension of a ban on public gatherings until the end of May, and schools and universities will remain closed further.
However, Akufo-Addo eased a three-week lockdown on Ghana’s two main cities, Accra and Kumasi, since April 19 amid concerns over the dramatic effects on the national economy.