Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will not be naming people, especially government appointees, infected with Covid-19.
According to the Director General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye, it is unethical for the names and positions of individuals infected with the virus to be made public, saying it does not even aid the stigmatization fight.
Speaking at the Covid-19 press briefing at the Ministry of Information yesterday, Dr. Aboagye said, “As I mentioned, I cannot really, ethically, tell you all these numbers and mention names and their status. It cannot be done.”
He said although the GHS cannot expose Covid-19 patients, what is being encouraged is for them to come out voluntarily to disclose their status.
“I’m sure there are media men who have also been exposed, and we don’t have their numbers and names (in the public domain) but those who came out and did that voluntarily, that’s what we encourage. We are not going to be able to mention anybody’s name and there is no need,” he emphasized.
This follows increasing report of government officials testing positive for Covid-19, the latest being the former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who passed away yesterday from Covid-19 complications.
The Mayor of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, K. K. Sam, also reportedly died from Covid-19 complications.
Currently, the NPP’s campaign manager for the 2020 general election, Peter Mac Manu, is reported to be receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after both tested positive for Covid-19.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, who was portrayed as being in ICU at Korle Bu, has rubbished the news saying he is doing well.
“My attention has been drawn to messages circulating on social media to the effect that I am in ICU after testing positive to Covid-19 sending worrying signals and misinformation to my well wishers and party faithful. I must categorically state that I am not in ICU neither am I at Korle Bu at the moment,” he said.
“I was admitted for an overnight review on my Covid-19 status at the ISOLATION CENTRE at Korle Bu yesterday around 5pm and discharged at 11am this morning. I have not in anyway been taking ill or suffer any serious break down to send me into ICU. I ask all and sundry to disregard this hollow speculation and confirm I’m as fit as I used to be. Thank you!” he added.
Ghana’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, also tested positive for Covid-19.
The country recorded a total of 496 new cases of Covid-19, pushing the tally to 18,630 as of yesterday.
The GHS, in its latest case management update, said the Greater Accra Region was leading the case count with 209 new cases.
He said out of the new cases in the Greater Accra Region, Okaikwei has 49, Ayawaso West, 36, and Ayawaso Central, 18.
According to him, 22 cases are severe, eight critical and six persons on ventilators, with 117 deaths recorded.
Recoveries stand at 14,046.
By Melvin Tarlue