President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed his displeasure over the stigmatization of persons who have recovered from the coronavirus disease. He has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to stop the act of stigmatizing former persons infected with the virus.
Over the last few days, there have been reports of stigmatization of persons who once had the coronavirus disease. The stigmatization over the virus has been rampant globally with some infected persons even attempting suicide over the matter.
But the president in his seventh State of the Nation address urged the general public to stop the stigmatization of persons who have recovered from the coronavirus disease.
“Secondly, 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. 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.”
“This is not right, as it will rather drive people away from getting screened, tested and treated,” the president said.
Also, an Advisor to the National Coronavirus Response Team, Dr. Ama Edwin, has cautioned against the instances of stigmatization in Ghana and cautioned against treating them as outcasts.
“We must build trust in our health system, and ensure the dissemination of reliable information on coronavirus, to prevent fear and anxiety,” Dr. Edwin noted when she spoke at a national press briefing recently.
The COVID-19 cases in the country have so far reached 1,042 with 9 deaths and 99 recoveries.
Dissemination of Fake News about the virus
In the attempt to preach calm and not fear and panic, some other persons have also resorted to the dissemination of fake news about the spread of the virus in the country.
According to the president, stigmatization of persons recovered from the virus and the spread of fake news about the virus are other fights the government must win aside from the fight against COVID-19.
“Firstly, 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 cautioned.