Dan Botwe, NAPO &Afenyo-Markin In Hospital With COVID-19?

Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development

Details coming to The Herald, is suggesting that, the country is losing the fight against COVID-19 with some prominent personalities, contracting the disease and are on admission at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).

Reports from the Medical Center, say there is an overwhelming number of state officials on admission at the facility for treatment.

Reports have mentioned the Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development, Daniel Kweku Botwe and the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere Constituency in the Eastern Region and Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Education Minister and MP for Manhyia Constituency in the Ashanti Region.

Other reports also suggest, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the MP for the Effutu Constituency in the Central Region, is also receiving treatment for the condition.

Additional reports are that a sub-chief from Manhyia in the Ashanti Region, was rushed to the medical facility on Monday evening.

Details on Mr Botwe are, however, sketchy, but The Herald’s sources, disclosed that Dr. Opoku Prempeh, was admitted to the facility a day after his endorsement last Saturday as the Parliamentary candidate for the December 2020 elections.

The Education minister, was endorsed through a popular acclamation, as he was the only candidate who filed to contest the elections.

The latest report comes after The Health Minister, Kweku Agyamang Manu, had to spend some days in hospital, having contracted the illness. His son, wife, driver and bodyguard are also reported to have suffered the disease.

The Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, who also got infested, had gotten it from the Health Minister, who had attended a birthday party organized by the NHIA boss to mark her 60th birthday celebrations. Other officials of the NHIA who attended the event, were also said to have contracted the disease.

Some senior officers at the Police Hospital in Accra, are also reported to have contracted the disease, therefore not coming to work.

The Herald’s information is that, the country is getting overwhelmed with the cases, although this week President Akufo-Addo has sent final Senior High School (SHS) students to go finish their final exams with strict observance of COVID-19 safety protocols took centre stage yesterday when SHSs reopened for final year and second-year Gold Track students.

Schools across the country, are said to be observing all the protocols from the no mask, no entry, checking of temperature and placement of Veronica buckets to enable regular handwashing, were activated at the entrances of all campuses as students arrived.

Meanwhile, the government is insisting that the current sanctions for not wearing face masks, which some have described as harsh, are necessary.

At a press briefing yesterday, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said: “Sometimes, if the sanctions are not deterring enough, we will not get the level of compulsion we are looking for.”

“One of the reasons for prescribing sanctions on various pieces of legislation is so that they become a deterrent to other people.”

The new sanctions for not wearing face masks are contained in a new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164).

People who fail to wear face masks in public, risk a prison sentence of four to 10 years or a fine ranging GHS12,000 to GHS60,000, or both.

Aside from the perceived harshness of the law, concerns have been raised about the definition of a public place and if, for example, a person should wear a mask whilst in his or her car alone.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, indicated that the government was open to a more flexible and purposive interpretation of the law.

“We acknowledge a grey area in the law which had got to do with individuals who are in their private cars by themselves… So what government is doing is engaging with the police to give the E.I. a purposive interpretation when they apply it.”

“The purpose or the objective is to compel all persons within public places and in contact with others to wear a face mask so we can curb the rate of transmission,” he stated.

About the new E.I.

The new E.I. makes it mandatory for people to wear face masks, face shields or any other face covering that covers his or her nose and mouth completely when the person is in public or leaving or returning to his place of abode.

Police are also given authority to make random checks to ensure compliance.

According to paragraph 4(2) of E.I. 164, any person who fails to comply with the mandatory wearing of nose masks shall be punished in accordance with Section 6 of Act 1012.

Per Section 6 of Act 1012, “a person who fails to comply with the restrictions imposed under the Executive Instrument issued under subsection 1 of Section 2 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 1,000 penalty unit (GHS12,000) and not more than 5,000 penalty units (GHS 60,000) or to a term of imprisonment not less than four years and not more than 10 years or to both.”

Source: theheraldghana