More protests hit Cape Coast over Covid-19 isolation centres

Cape Coast, the Central regional capital after recording its first case of COVID-19 last Thursday continues to be in the news for the wrong reasons.

It has witnessed a number of protests in the last few days as residents kick against the use of schools in the area as isolation centres in the wake of the deadly coronavirus.

When the first case of coronavirus was announced, many residents became apprehensive as the news dawned on them.

Ahead of the announcement by the Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, was the tracing of 13 other contacts who were said to have been exposed to the virus by the said patient.

According to the residents, Mr Duncan who happened to be the head of the regional security council directed the use of dormitories of some second cycle schools as centres for the isolation of suspected COVID-19 cases.

But plans to use the St Augustines College and the Efutu Senior High Technical School have faced resistance.

Teachers of the schools and residents of Efutu vehemently opposed the decision, and demonstrated to show their disapproval.

Teachers of St Augustines College, for instance, petitioned the regional coordinating council describing the regional minister’s action as misplaced and problematic.

Just two days after protest at the St Augustines and Efutu communities, other demonstrations erupted Saturday morning at Brafoyaw and Ekon, all suburbs of Cape Coast.

TV3 checks revealed that Regional Minister had wanted to use Aggrey Memorial AME Zion Senior High School and the Oguaa Secondary Technical School as isolation centres should the COVID-19 cases escalate in the region, particularly in Cape Coast.

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But this has also been fiercely resisted by the youth in the area.

An opinion leader stressing concerns of residents

Meanwhile, TV3 has gathered that the agitations were as a result of the lack of broader and timely consultations to use the respective schools and their dormitories for the said purposes.

On Saturday, scores of residents which included women and children stormed the entrance of Aggrey Memorial Senior High School chanting war songs, and shouting “y3npen oo y3npen”, meaning we won’t agree. Some even made attempts to block the school’s entrance with logs and other items.

“I am so angry because even my checks reveal that our chief here was not aware of this decision which is a bad and unfortunate precedent, and also gives us reason not to agree,” Kobina a taxi driver at Brafoyaw said.

“We can not agree to such directive when all we know is that the this disease is deadly and can kill everyone here at Ekon,” said Kwodwo Mbir who is a canoe owner.

Persons who disagree with the use of Aggrey Memorial Zion SHS and the St Augustines College cited stigma and the fear of infections as their reason.

By Thomas Cann |