The Ghana Medical Association, GMA, is calling on the country’s security agencies to deal with the organizers of the funeral for the late CEO of the Forestry Commission, and one-time NPP General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John.
The Association said it is disappointed that the funeral, which had high-profiled state authorities including President Akufo-Addo and Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia attending last Thursday, was done in total disregard for COVID-19 protocols.
“We call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate and deal with the organizers of this and any similar events to serve as a deterrent to others who intend to endanger the public health of our nation. We call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to act without fear or favor in this regard,” the GMA said in a statement.
Videos from the funeral of the late Sir John on social media show many people gathered, sitting and standing very closely together, with only a handful wearing face masks.
The GMA said such incidents in the past were responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 spread in Ghana earlier this year, hence allowing such gatherings to occur again could lead to another spread of the virus in the country.
It said currently some countries in Africa are experiencing another surge in cases, and for Ghana which is struggling to vaccinate its population, such must not be tolerated since it is a “potential superspreader.”
“This mass gathering of people with complete disregard for physical distancing and limited use of face masks occurred in the wake of caution by the World Health Organization (WHO) to some African countries to prepare for what appears to be a new surge in COVID-19 cases in Africa.
“The memories of the catastrophic consequences of the surge in COVID-19 cases in January-February 2021 including that of the many lives lost and the pressure our healthcare system came under during that surge is fresh on our minds. We should not forget that that surge was occasioned by similar mass gatherings associated with the political activities and Christmas festivities in November/December 2020,” it added.
It said organizing funerals and public gatherings in such a manner “violate our protocols and have the tendency to reverse all gains made in our fight against COVID-19.”
The GMA said COVID-19 remains a major threat to Ghana and therefore, all the necessary preventive protocols must be observed, urging the public to continue to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols.
‘Reckless disregard for COVID-19 protocols at Sir John’s funeral disappointing’ – Occupy Ghana
Pressure Group, Occupy Ghana, was the first to publicly condemn the total disregard for COVID-19 protocols at the burial of former CEO of the Forestry Commission, and one-time General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.
While condemning the act, OccupyGhana slammed government officials for their complicity in the development.
“The general public is encouraged to continue to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols and refrain from such mass gatherings and activities that endangers our collective survival,” it added.
Read the full statement below: