Communities chasing recovered coronavirus patients with land guards

Some communities in Ghana have resorted to the use of land guards to remove recovered COVID-19 patients from among them, Deputy Director in charge of monitoring at the Ghana Ambulance Service has disclosed to Starr News.

According to Yaw Osei, due to the increasing level of stigmatization in communities, most recovered COVID-19 patients insist on returning to the treatment centres after going back home.

“We had a situation where some people (recovered patients) were sent home and they called back that they can’t stay because everybody in the house is after them. Most of our people live in compound houses so when they are exposed, and they go back there, acceptance becomes a challenge so we have had a situation where we had to go back and pick up the patient from the house because they are not being welcomed, so they prefer to stay at the treatment centre instead,” he revealed.

He added: “And we have had a situation whereby people have organized land guards to go and move people from the community because they believe that they are COVID-19 patients and we have had to go and move such people back to the treatment centre”.

Meanwhile, a Social Psychologist at the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana, Dr. Peace Mamle Tetteh has appealed to the media to be circumspect in their reportage on COVID-19 patients.

According to her, the kind of words the media decide to use during their reports have an impact on the stigmatisation or otherwise of the patients.

The concerns come in the wake rising call for stigmatization to be put in check as the country continues to battle the virus.

Speaking to Starr News, the lecturer said there is the need to challenge the myth around the virus.

“It is not a death sentence and. Let’s challenge the myth. This is where the media comes in. Avoid labelling, avoid negative reporting, avoid using stigmatizing description. Let’s provide education to the families of affected persons. When people recover and come back accept them because they need that confidence from society,” she noted.

Meanwhile, the Technical lead on Health and Aviation at the Bureau of Public Safety Dr Akaribo Yakubu says lockdown is the most effective way of curbing the spread of the deadly COVID-19.

According to him, the measure is deemed most effective because there is proven record of its efficiency in China and other places since the pandemic took over the world.

“Lockdown is the ideal measure to stop infections and that has proven to work. If we are able to stop the movement of people that is the best way to stop the spread,” Dr Yakubu told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Wednesday.

It comes as Ghana’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Currently, the case count stands at 1,671 from 1,550.

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