Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka has said that it was inappropriate for the Health Minister to have made a ‘harmful’ comment during one the Information Ministry’s briefing on coronavirus update.
Kwaku Agyekum-Manu, during his address at the press conference on May 14, 2020, urged Ghanaians to live with COVID-19 because it has come to stay.
According to him, there is no known cure for the virus, thus the need to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols of safety precautionary measures.
“The last time I came here, I made some factual statement that coronavirus has come to live with us. It will have nowhere to go, and we’ll have to learn to live with it.”
The Minister further told journalists that, “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.”
But MP for Asawase Constituency argued that not all citizens will digest the statement properly. He noted that the ordinary Ghanaian might mistake it to be that “the disease no longer exists.”
He warned that stakeholders should be careful with the mode of communication when giving updates on COVID-19.
Also chastising government, he said, “We are reactionary, we are not being proactive. We don’t have to wait for a parliamentarian to die before we do better.
“The Minister and his team should do well to do the best thing. Recoveries are good but keep your eyes on the spread and testing.” He indicated.
Responding to this however, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, registered displeasure with the manner in which Muntaka presented his concerns.
“I don’t like the attitude of people saying we keep deceiving. You are entitled to your opinion but not your own set of facts.”
He maintained that stakeholders in the fight against the pandemic are assembled by competent individuals.
He added, “Our deliberations should inform the populace and not script our facts.”
The Health Minister disagreeing with the assertion by the MP said it is unfortunate for a member of the House to say government is being reactionary adding that the NPP administration is doing everything possible to save lives.
“...We are not relying on anybody’s common sense but relying on experts for advice on how to tackle the disease. You can’t come here and make the picture look very blue.”
He further noted that “What I said was that this coronavirus has come to live with us. All these diseases, we manage them. So the reality is that we will not allow the disease to lock us in our rooms. Man must eat and survive...So we have to learn to live our normal lives.”