The Ghana Medical Association has called on the Ghana Police Service to investigate organizers of the funeral rites of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John.
The event saw hundreds in attendance including President Akufo-Addo and the Vice President Dr. Mahamudou Bawumia with flagrant disregard for the COVID 19 protocols.
The event has courted various reactions as many criticize the attendees.
In a statement released Monday June 7, 2021, the GMA expressed disappointment in the development.
“The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has noted with disappointment the total disregard for COVID-19 protocols during the final funeral rites of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John. This mass gathering of people with complete disregard for physical distancing and limited use of face masks occurred in the wake of a 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 statement read.
The association said it was even more shocking that the President, Nana Addo Danquah and his vice, Dr. Mahamudou Bawumia were in attendance as it recounted how the second wave of the pandemic took a toll on the country’s healthcare system after similar super spreader events were organized in the lead up to the 2020 General Elections
“The GMA was therefore shocked to observe that a nation like ours struggling to vaccinate its population will permit such a potential super spreader event to take place and be attended by top government functionaries including HE the President and the Vice President of the Republic. The memories of the catastrophic consequences of the surge in COVID-19 cases in January-February 2021including 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”.
The GMA has called on the IGP to act on the matter without fear or favour
“The GMA condemns such activities that violate our protocols and has the tendency to reverse all gains made in our fight against COVID-19. 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”.
It concluded by asking the public to adhere to the COVID 19 protocols to ensure the safety of all.
“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.The GMA wishes to reiterate that COVID-19 is still real and a present threat to our country and calls on all to adhere to the preventive protocols for the safety of all”.