Breach of COVID-19 safety protocols: GMA calls for action

Sir John's funeral

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), has urged law enforcement agencies to investigate and deal with the organisers of the funeral of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, the former Chief Executive officer of the Forestry Commission, over breaches of COVID-19 protocols.

The Inspector General of Police should act without fear or favour in this regard, while he should do same for similar events to serve as a deterrent to others “who intend to endanger the public health of our nation”.

The GMA in a press statement, jointly signed by its President, Dr Frank Ankobea and Dr Justice Yankson, General Secretary, said the mass gathering of people with complete disregard for physical distancing and limited use of face masks was unacceptable.

“It was a shock to observe that a nation like Ghana, struggling to vaccinate its population will permit such a potential super spreader event to take place and be attended by top government functionaries, including the President and the Vice President of the Republic,” the statement said.

It said it was unfortunate that this occurred in the wake of a caution by the World Health Organization (WHO) to some African countries to prepare for what appeared to be a new surge in COVlD-19 cases in Africa.

“The memories of the catastrophic consequences of the surge in COVID-19 cases in January and February 2021, including that of the many lives lost and the pressure our healthcare system came under during that surge is fresh on our minds,” it said.

The body of Mr Owusu-Afriyie, aka Sir John, who was a former general secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party, was laid to rest on Thursday, June 3, following his funeral rites at the Sakora Wonoo Junior High School, in the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region.

A large gathering of mourners, including Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General-Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, and many other politicians, joined his family, community members and well-wishers to bid him farewell.

The outspoken affable politician and lawyer, died on July 1, 2020, according to reports from Covid-19 complications.

The GMA urged the public not to forget that a surge was occasioned by similar mass gatherings associated with the political activities and Christmas festivities in November and December 2020.

It condemned the hosting of activities that violated protocols and had the tendency to reverse all the gains made against COVID 19.

It encouraged the public to continue to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols and refrain from such mass gatherings and activities that endangered the collective survival of citizens.

The statement emphasised that COVID-19 was still “real and a present threat to our country”.

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