NAPO leads fight against coronavirus stigmatisation

The coronavirus has hit the entire world; both the developing and the developed alike. When you come to Ghana, the coronavirus has affected more than 20,000 citizens. The virus did not exclude politicians. The following are some of the politicians who have been infected with the virus and have recovered.

PAPA OWUSU-ANKOMAH

The Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland was the first government official/ politician to test positive for the virus. Even though he was not in Ghana, he is the country’s representative, and as such, he works for the government of Ghana. He was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Royal Free Hospital in London, United Kingdom.


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In a press statement by the High Commission of the Republic of Ghana in London, it stated, “We wish to inform you that indeed the High Commissioner has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and to assure all of that he is in a stable condition.”

Five weeks later, the High Commissioner released a press statement regarding his recovery and thanked everyone who supported him in diverse ways. He concluded by saying, “I, however, remain optimistic and I strongly believe that the U.K, Ghana and the rest of the world will overcome this virus.”

Papa Owusu Ankomah served as the Member of Parliament for the people of Sekondi from 1996 to 2016 and was appointed in 2017 by the President.


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MR. KWEKU AGYEMAN MANU

Mr. Kweku Agyeman Manu is the Member of Parliament for the people of Dormaa in the Bono Region of Ghana and also the health minister. Mr. Kweku Agyeman was the first minister to contract the virus. After news of his status hit the media, the Health Ministry said he had taken some days off and was yet to resume work.

But later, the President confirmed that he has tested positive for the virus in his nation’s address where he said the minister had “contracted the virus in his line of duty” while leading Ghana’s fight against the deadly virus. The President did not disclose where he was admitted, but after some time, it was alleged he was at the University of Ghana Medical Centre.

The President said he was in a stable condition and after a few days the UGMC confirmed he was responding well to treatment. A few weeks later, he was discharged after testing negative for the virus twice. He is now back and has resumed work.



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DR. MATTHEW OPOKU PREMPEH

The Minister of Education and the Member of Parliament for Manhyia South Constituency, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, popularly known as NAPO, also contracted the virus in his line of duty. Dr. Opoku Prempeh was feeling unwell for a couple of days and decided to test again for the virus after he had tested negative in his previous test on June 16.

It was later confirmed that he had the virus and underwent treatment at the UGMC. He was later discharged after a rapid antibody test for COVID-19 on him proved he has fought the virus. Recounting his experience, he said, “for all 52 years of my life, I’ve never been admitted the hospital before and it was not a pleasant experience. The disease is very real and I don’t wish it on even my foe.”

Dr. Opoku Prempeh has now recovered fully and has resumed work.

YAW OSAFO MAAFO

Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo was appointed in 2017 by the NPP to serve as the Senior Minister under the Akufo-Addo administration. The information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced his positive result to the public on July 7, 2020, during his press briefing at the Ministry of Information.

He stated that the disclosure was in accordance with the government’s transparency and with the go-ahead from the Senior Minister. He said, “In a separate development that has come to us this morning, the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo has been informed that his samples given for test has been returned positive…”

The senior minister has also recovered from the virus.

MR. CARLOS AHENKORAH

Mr. Carlos Ahenkorah is the Member of Parliament for the people of Tema West and is the immediate past Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry. The news of Carlos Ahenkorah became a national issue after he breached the COVID-19 safety protocols. Mr. Ahenkorah tested positive for the virus, and due to his asymptomatic nature, he was discharged to go home and continue self-isolation.

Mr. Ahenkorah decided not to abide by the protocols and decided to visit his constituency with the virus where he interacted with a number of people. This came as a surprise to many Ghanaians as they all wondered how a Member of Parliament could put the life of his people at risk.

This made him resign as the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, but many Ghanaians insisted that the resignation was not enough and that he should be sanctioned. It was later alleged that a member of Mr. Ahenkorah’s campaign team died of the virus and his driver also tested positive for the virus.

Mr. Ahenkorah has recovered from the virus.

MR. DAN BOTWE

Mr. Dan Botwe is the Member of Parliament for Okere Constituency in the Eastern Region of Ghana and the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development. The news of Mr. Botwe came out after it was confirmed that he was at the ‘red zone’ at the UGMC. He was later confirmed positive.

After spending three weeks at the UGMC, Mr. Botwe was discharged and took some time off to rest at home. According to him, he observed all the safety precautions and was surprised when his test came back positive. He urged Ghanaians to cease harbouring the misconception that the virus affects on ‘high profile’ persons.

“If I have been infected with the virus, after all the precautions I took; we cannot be careful enough.” He also said people started spreading fake news about his demise and that he even had to make video calls with his family members before they believed he was alive.

Mr. Dan Botwe has recovered from the novel coronavirus.

MAC MANU

Mac Manu, who landed in the ICU after testing positive for the virus has also recovered. So far, he is the top official who took longer to recover.


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