People wearing face masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, walks past a painting at a bus station in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, May 7, 2020. South Africa begun a phased easing of its strict lockdown measures on May 1, and its confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to increase as more people are being tested. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
People wearing face masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, walks past a painting at a bus station in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, May 7, 2020. South Africa begun a phased easing of its strict lockdown measures on May 1, and its confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to increase as more people are being tested. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Ghanaian hotel turns away health workers because of government debt owed to it

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published May 15, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - A hotel in Ghana has refused accommodation to health workers who are required to self-isolate after coming into contact with a Covid-19 patient, because of unpaid debts owed by the health department. 

According to the Daily Guide Network Online, the hotel in Tamale in the Northern Region turned away the health workers who were in contact with an 80-year-old Covid-19 patient. 

The health workers have refused to self-isolate at their own homes because they fear they may infect their family members. 

They have approached the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for assistance in the region.

“Some of us are living in compound houses, while others live in single rooms, so you can imagine it’s not possible to quarantine ourselves,” health workers told the publication. 

Northern Regional health director Dr John B. Eleeza confirmed that the hotel’s management will not accommodate the workers unless the department pays its debt of Gh¢219,000 (US$38,005). 

“Management of the hotel said they will not allow us to put anybody there until we make payment for the initial debt.

“It is difficult to secure accommodation for the health workers to be quarantined,” Eleeza said. 

He has urged health workers to self-isolate and follow all health directives until the department can find alternative accommodation for them. 

According to GhanaWeb, the GHS incurred the debt when health workers were quarantined at the hotel after coming into contact with a group of eight Guineans and two Burkinabe who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  

The 40 health workers from the Tamale Teaching Hospital were placed in mandatory quarantine at the hotel. 

Meanwhile, the GHS has reported 5,530 positive cases of Covid-19 in the country, with 674 recoveries and 24 deaths.

African News Agency

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