The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, is on admission at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), receiving treatment for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who confirmed this in his 11th Update on Measures Taken Against the COVID-19, said the 64-year-old minister, who was admitted last Tuesday, was in stable condition.
“Let us also wish our hardworking Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, MP for Dormaa Central, a speedy recovery from the virus, which he contracted in the line of duty and is in stable condition,” the President said as he concluded his address yesterday.
Earlier, multiple sources, both at the UGMC and in government, had confirmed the news to the Daily Graphic and said he was “responding to treatment”.
The minister, one of the key men at the forefront in Ghana’s fight against the COVID-19, has not been seen in public since the regular Minister’s Media Briefing on the COVID-19 last held on May 28.
Since then, no briefing had been held and the situation had given rise to speculations that he had tested positive for the COVID-19.
However, the Ministry of Health said the minister had taken some days off and was yet to resume work.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, a leading member of Ghana’s COVID-19 response team, regularly addresses the Minister’s Media Briefing on the virus.
During those briefings, he constantly stressed the need for people to observe the safety and preventive protocols.
At the May 14 briefing, he called on Ghanaians to learn to live with the coronavirus because it had come to stay, stressing that the only way to keep the virus away was by observing the protocols.
“The last time I came here, I made some factual statement that the coronavirus had come to live with us. It will have nowhere to go and we’ll have to learn to live with it.
“There is no medication that we can take; there is no vaccine against the virus, but there are certain things we know we can do to protect ourselves,” he had emphasised.
The confirmation of Mr Agyeman-Manu’s status makes him the third government official to have been confirmed to have contracted the infection, after the Metropolitan Chief Executive for Sekondi Takoradi, Mr Anthony Kobina Kurentsi Sam, and Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Papa Owusu-Ankomah.
Unfortunately, Mr Sam passed away at the UGMC last Friday, where he had been on admission, after being referred from the Effia Nkwanta Hospital.
He succumbed to the infection from an underlying health condition.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah was the first high-profile government official to have confirmed testing positive to the infection.
He tested positive in London and was admitted at an ICU on April 10 but recovered and resumed work on May 12.
Last Thursday, the leadership of Parliament expressed concern over the refusal of some members to go into quarantine after testing positive.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, had told the House that the medical team of COVID-19 was frustrated in getting those who had tested positive to go into self-isolation after they had communicated the outcome of their COVID-19 tests.
Ghana’s case count has risen to 11,964, with 4,258 recoveries, while the death toll has also risen to 54.
The active case count stands at 7,652, with 13 people severely ill, six critically ill and three on ventilators.