‘I pray Sir John’s funeral won’t spread COVID-19 because it was outdoor’ – Nsiah Asare

‘I pray Sir John’s funeral won’t spread COVID-19 because it was outdoor’ – Nsiah Asare

Presidential Advisor on Health and a member of the National COVID-19 Response Team, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, has told Citi News he is not expecting a spike in Ghana’s COVID-19 cases following the recent disregard for safety protocols at the funeral of late CEO of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

Government has been heavily criticized for the blatant disregard of the protocols at the funeral where the President, Vice President, Chief Justice and other key government officials were in attendance.

Aside from the number of people seen at the funeral who were far more than the expected 100 directed by the government as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, viral videos from the ceremony showed many people crowded at the venue with a handful of them wearing facemasks.

Groups such as the Minority in Parliament, the Ghana Medical Association and Occupy Ghana want the country’s security agencies to deal with both government and organizers of the funeral for breaking the law.

But the Dr. Nsiah Asare says the funeral caused no harm.

“Everybody was wearing mask, but after sometime they took it off when the dignitaries were coming in and when they were going to do the burial. It’s unfortunate, but we are also watching and studying the situation to see that there is no adverse effects. I pray that because it was outdoor and opened, it is most likely that the risk will be lower than if it was done in an enclosed environment.”

Sir John passed away at the Intensive Care Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.

The late Sir John was laid to rest in his hometown at Sakra Wonoo in the Ashanti Region on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

In the meantime, the Ashanti Regional Police Command claims that it is investigating circumstances that led  majority of the thousands of mourners  defying the laid-down safety protocols such as the wearing of nose masks and social distancing at the final funeral rites.