President Akufo-Addo has called on Ghanaians to stop stigmatising persons infected with the Coronavirus disease as it will rather drive people away from getting screened, tested and treated.
The President made this call while addressing the nation in a televised broadcast on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
“As has been aptly stated by the Ghana Medical Association, being infected by the Coronavirus is not necessarily a death sentence. I have noticed, with great concern, the stories of some persons, who have recovered from the virus, now being confronted with another problem, i.e. stigmatization. This is not right, as it will rather drive people away from getting screened, tested and treated. The stigmatization of recovered persons must stop because if the virus did not end their lives and livelihoods, the stigma from members of their communities should not,” the president said.
He also asked persons sharing fakes news about the disease to stop else they will be dealt with.
“There continues to be the deliberate dissemination of fake news, disinformation and outright lies by some unpatriotic citizens about the spread of the virus since its outbreak in the country. These acts are being orchestrated by those who hope to benefit by seeking to sow the seeds of panic and confusion amongst the populace at this time of national crisis. I have an unequivocal message for those involved in these despicable acts put an immediate stop to it, or be held accountable for your actions,” he added.
Recovered COVID-19 patient stigmatized
A father of four, Frederick Drah who recently recovered from the novel coronavirus infection is now having to face stigmatization in his community at Mataheko, near Afienya.
Because of the stigma, Frederick Drah, even longs for the days he was at the treatment centre at the Ga East Municipal Hospital, from which he was discharged last Sunday.
“I even wish, maybe, I could go back to the [quarantine] camp again,” he lamented when a Citi News team visited his home.