Claim: Americans advised to reconsider travel to Ghana due to COVID-19

Source: US State Department

Verdict: True

Researched by Sani Abdul-Rahman

The United States has advised its citizens to reconsider travels to Ghana over fears of contracting COVID-19 in a new travel advisory issued on September 22.

The State Department’s level 3 warning signalling high risk of COVID-19, comes as Ghana has eased a number of COVID-19 restrictions including reopening the Kotoka International Airport for regular international passenger travel, while it’s land and sea borders continue to remain closed until further notice.


Ghana’s COVID-19 case count

A total of 46,153 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Ghana since March 12, with 299 deaths recorded as of September 24.

Meanwhile, 45,299 victims have recovered/discharged, with active cases currently standing at 555.


US COVID-19 case count

The US has recorded confirmed coronavirus cases of 7,139,553, with 205,914 deaths since January 20.

Meanwhile, 4,398,907 victims have recovered in the US, with the country having 2,534,053 active cases as of September 24.


Americans should be cautious in border regions

The travel alert also warns U.S. citizens travelling in Ghana to exercise caution while visiting border areas, in particular the northern border, and be sure to stay abreast of any regional Travel Advisory updates or Security Alerts affecting those areas.

“Areas near the border in the Upper East and Upper West Regions,” the travel alert noted.

” The States Department sometimes exaggerate the magnitude of the threats. But there are unresolved conflicts across the areas mentioned waiting for a spark. It still doesn’t mean there is looming danger,” Executive Director of West Africa Centre for Counter Extremism, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar told GhanaFact in an interview.


Ghana Police lacks resources to tackle serious crime

The travel alert published by the US embassy in Ghana also urged its nationals to exercise increased caution in urban areas due to spate of crimes at night, particularly on highways.

“The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to more serious crimes,” the advisory said.

According to Security Analyst Sani Adib, “Since 2017, crime has been increasing according to Police records and we have not done much to investigate and prosecute. High profile murder cases (JB Danquah MP, Ahmed Suale, etc) are still unresolved. The Police lack advance crime investigation skillset and logistics to combat crime. The risk-level is therefore high.”