The deceased, a 60-year-old woman who returned from Accra two weeks ago, visited the Ho Teaching Hospital with difficulty in breathing, fever for three days and reduced level of consciousness.
She was noticed to have been progressively getting weak prior to her presentation at the Teaching Hospital and passed on after five days on admission at the Regional COVID -19 Centre on May 14, 2020 at 1815 hours.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the deceased was a known diabetic who had suffered a Cerebro-Vascular Accident (CVA) a few years ago.
The sexagenarian, the statement said, also had a pacemaker in situ for an unspecified cardiac condition.
It said she had been previously reviewed at the National Cardio Thoracic Centre where she was told the pacemaker was no longer effective.
“On examination, she was febrile (40.0 °C), not pale and anicteric with a Glasgow Coma Score of 11/15. She had a respiratory rate of 28cpm with Bronchial Breath Sounds and coarse crepitations bilaterally.
“Oxygen saturation was 86% on room air. The blood pressure was 100/70mmHg, Heart Sounds I &II heard with no other sounds. There was residual weakness of the right upper and lower limbs,” the statement said.
It said a preliminary diagnosis of severe pneumonia, Diabetes Mellitus type-2 and CVA with residual weakness was made to rule out COVID-19 but results received from the University of Health and Allied Sciences Laboratory for COVID-19 in three hours confirmed the deceased as positive for the disease.
Dr. Letsa said, “The patient was clinically managed in conformity with the established clinical protocols for the various disease conditions, psychosocial support given to the family of the confirmed case and all contacts and appropriate burial procedures currently underway”.
The Regional Minister said 39 staff including ten doctors, 28 nurses and an orderly were immediately quarantined as a precautionary measure after varying levels of exposure while contact identification, listing, tracing and testing was ongoing.
He said the Emergency Unit of the Ho Teaching Hospital was evacuated and shut down for 24 hours for fumigation.