Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has said despite been COIVD-19 positive, he toured some registration centres to see how the process was going when the Electoral Commission (EC) began registering Ghanaians for a new voter ID card ahead of the December 7, 2020 polls.
The tour, which he said was to give hope to his constituents and loved ones, has sent tongues wagging with many, saying he must be sacked by the President Akufo-Addo, who has been relentless on curbing the spread of the disease and even suspended all his cabinet meetings until further notice.
Others have described his conduct saying "This is criminal.Consider the fact that a Pastor was jailed for organising church service during the lockdown".
The Tema West MP admitted to Asempa FM's Ekosiisen political talk show host Osei Bonsu yesterday in an interview that he toured the centres on the first day of the exercise â Tuesday, 30 June 2020.
"I decided to see how some of the centres were just operating. So, I stepped out into town a bit. It didn't mean I couldn't go out. My test results had shown I was positive a week ago and after one week, my doctors said I could step out," he told Asempa FM.
"They [doctors] said I could go out, except that I needed to wear my mask and observe social distancing," the lawmaker added who is a member of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), one of the state institutions also hit by the virus with many officials at both senior manage level as well as the security department down, and in isolation.
He said he was "very careful" and "very mature about it".
Meanwhile, Mr Ahenkorah, has denied media reports that he has been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.
In a short statement on Thursday, 2 July 2020, he said: "My attention has been drawn to messages circulating on social media to the effect that I am in ICU after testing positive for COVID-19 sending worrying signals and misinformation to my well-wishers and party faithful".
"I must categorically state that I am not in ICU", Mr Ahenkorah noted, adding: "Neither am I in Korle Bu at the moment".
"I was admitted for an overnight review on my COVID status at the isolation centre in Korle Bu yesterday around 5 pm and discharged at 11 am this morning".
"I have not, in any way, been taken 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!"
Meanwhile, one NPP activist and lawyer, Kwesi Fokuor-Benyin, who couldn't hold his disgust took to face, saying "What Carlos Ahenkorah did was not negligence. It does not even qualify as recklessness as some call it. It was a pre-meditated criminal conduct, plain and simple!
"From his own admission, he had tested positive for the virus and was in an isolation centre with both Sir John and Peter Mac Manu. Then he leaves the isolation centre to monitor the voter registration exercise, carrying the virus with him and posing a real risk to the public. How criminally-minded could one be?
"Why should such a character remain in public office?
It is unclear, if the Ghana Health Service is making any effort to contact trace the people, he interacted with at the various registration centers he visited on the day.
Last Saturday, June 27, at Swiss Spirit Hotel, where he was acclaimed as flagbearer for the NPP by party executives and Council of Elders, The President, was unhappy with the disregard for COVID-19 protocols at the recent NPP parliamentary primaries.
Carlos Ahenkorah, later on Citi FM, reiterated that although he had tested positive for Coronavirus, he was rather at the Hospital's isolation centre receiving treatment.
"Yes, I do have COVID-19 but I am asymptomatic. I spent a night at Korle Bu to be checked on by the experts at the Isolation Center. My doctor took my samples and asked me to go into self-isolation which I have been since last week. So yesterday [Wednesday], I was admitted there at 5 pm. This morning [Thursday] at 11 am, he discharged me. I wasn't at ICU and ICU is not the same as Isolation," he said on Citi FM's Eyewitness News.
"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 in Korle-Bu at the moment. I was admitted for an overnight review on my COVID status at the Isolation in Korle Bu yesterday around 5 pm and discharged at 11 am this morning," Mr Ahenkorah said in a separate statement.
Meanwhile, he has admitted and justified why he decided to visit some registration centres to assess the ongoing nationwide voter registration exercise EC despite being positive for the virus.
"Yes, I have COVID-19 but on the first day of the registration, there was a problem at one of the centres. But knowing my status that I am asymptomatic I visited only one centre to check on the issue. I never got in the midst of people. I drove in my car and got there, got down and spoke far away with the EC officer who explained the issue to me, told her I will report this to their boss and then I just left. It is important for people like us to know their status because whether you like it not, we will go into the midst of people", he added.
The latest update from the GHS indicates that the country has 18,630 coronavirus cases, 14,046 clinical recoveries and 117 deaths.