Environmental health workers of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) who conduct burial of Covid-19 bodies say they would not continue with the exercise unless they are provided security.
This follows a brutal assault on them at the Ridge Hospital in Accra on Thursday, by agitated relatives of one of the deceased who were contesting the cause of death of their kinsman.
Despite Ghana’s active cases of Covid-19 are on the decline, the disease continues to claim lives.
Death toll as of August 29 was at 270.
Environmental health workers of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly have been conducting burial of these bodies each week, since the outbreak of the infection in Ghana in March this year.
But they have had to deal with some angry relatives of the deceased who want to have their way with their dead.
Leader of the Covid-19 burial team, Joseph Asitanga says the week’s exercise was marred by a physical attack on his men.
“We were attacked by the family of one of the victims. They would not allow the burial team to carry the body away for burial,” a frustrated Joseph Asitanga told 3news.com.
He said, “nearly all of his men were roughed up and beaten because the family was contesting the cause of death of their beloved.”
The burial team “had to leave the body there and go to the next hospital morgue to retrieve others for burial.”
The workers have vowed to boycott any further burials unless they are provided adequate security.
“My men are psychologically traumatised, and as of Thursday they told me they would boycott the exercise,” Joseph Asitanga added.
He told Komla Adom the team members have agreed not to continue the exercise until they are provided adequate security each time of the exercise.
The issue of security is only one of many the workers say, would force them to quit their assignment.
The workers are still yet to receive any incentives; three months after President Akufo-Addo announced special packages for frontline workers.
“Till date, we have not been taken care of per the president’s directives on incentives and tax waivers for frontline workers.”
The leader of the team revealed, “all environmental health workers across the regions and various districts are unanimous in their decision to boycott the burials if they do not receive their packages by end of September”.
So far one hundred and sixteen bodies out of the two hundred and seventy have been buried by the AMA – as of August 29, 2020.