President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pleaded with Ghanaians to stop stigmatising persons who have recovered from COVID-19, saying it will not augur well towards the fight against the pandemic.
He said the stigmatisation would rather drive people away from getting screened, tested and treated.
He stated: “The stigmatisation of recovered persons must not go on because if the virus did not end their lives and livelihoods, the stigma from members of their communities should not.”
Speaking at the Virtual May Day Celebration, hosted by the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said the overwhelming majority of the recovered persons would continue to live perfectly normal lives and cease to be sources of infections.
He also reiterated his call for everyone to be selfless in fighting the virus, saying, “We have to sacrifice towards fighting the novel Coronavirus to sacrifice towards fighting the novel Coronavirus so that we do not have to bear a greater cost in the future.
“All sections of society must see this sacrifice as a common effort to defeat this common enemy.”
The theme for the celebration is: “COVID-19 in Ghana: The Impact on Employment and Working Conditions”.
Giving an update of the cases, the President said, as of Thursday, April 30, Ghana had conducted 113, 497 tests for the virus, the most per a million people testing to be conducted in Africa.
A total of 2,074 have since March 12, tested positive, while there are 212 recoveries. There have also been 17 deaths.
“Our positivity rate has gone up marginally from 1.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent with six persons critically ill, and 1,839 persons are well and responding to treatment in health facilities, with some being managed at homes, President Akufo-Addo said.
“This, in effect, means that there is presently, no big pressure on our health care facilities to manage these cases, and we pray to God it stays that way”.
Emphasising the national strategy of Tracing, Testing and Treating, he explained that it was important for people to understand that the more people were tested for the virus, the more persons would be discovered as positive.
This would offer the opportunity to isolate and treat them, adding that the implantation of the strategy was the surest way of rooting out the virus.
He assured that all the measures put in place to combat the spread of the disease were under constant review and the Government would not hesitate to cordon, impose a curfew, trace, test and treat persons in communities “where we will witness significant spread of the infections”.
The President urged all to continue practising the social distancing protocols, which include avoiding handshaking and wearing facemasks “whenever we leave home”.
He also urged all working people to step forward, remain disciplined and help in the fight against the pandemic.