A man covers his face as he waits to receive goods from volunteers in Accra, Ghana, April 4 2020. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCIS KOKOROKO
A man covers his face as he waits to receive goods from volunteers in Accra, Ghana, April 4 2020. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCIS KOKOROKO

Accra — One person infected 533 people with the coronavirus at a fish factory in Ghana, accounting for more than a 10th of all cases recorded in the country so far and showing how precarious any progress in the fight against the disease can be.

The mass infection occurred in Tema, 30km  east of the capital, Accra, President Nana Akufo-Addo said a televised broadcast on Sunday night. The infection spike is a setback to the country that has led African peers in rolling out a mass screening and testing programme. The factory closed down for a week and has been disinfected.

Ghana, which identified its first two coronavirus cases on March 12, was the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to lift its 21-day lockdown after ramping up its testing capacity. Almost 161,00 people had been tested by Sunday, more than any other in the region apart from SA.

Ghana has 4,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 494 recoveries and 22 deaths, government data shows.

The pandemic has brought Ghana’s three years of economic expansion of 6% or more to a sudden halt. The government forecasts growth to slow to 1.5% in 2020, the least in 37 years. While economic activity has resumed, social-distancing policies are still in place, schools remain shut and public gatherings restricted. Borders will stay closed until May 31.

Bloomberg