The National Identification Authority (NIA) has denied claims that its field officers in the Eastern Region have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Authority, information circulating on social media which indicates that three NIA officials in the Eastern Region have tested positive for the disease is false.
“NIA checks with JoyNews (Multimedia Group) indicate that the story is not authentic and has not been reported by any outlet of the Multimedia Group,” the Head of Corporate Affairs of the NIA, Francis Palmdeti noted in a statement.
Backing its claims with facts concerning the situation in the region, the Authority said out of the 32 persons who have tested positive for the disease in the region, “31 are Indians working for AFCON” and the remaining one is a local farmer who has “no connection to the NIA as a staff, registration official or any other capacity whatsoever”.
The NIA further urged the general public to disregard any information that goes contrary to the actual details on the ground.
Case count in the Eastern Region
As of Monday, April 13, 2020, the total number of cases in the Eastern Region stands at 32.
The number increased from 23 to 32 after the Ghana Health Service confirmed 158 new cases on Sunday, April 12, 2020, making the national total 566, a part of which nine were from the Eastern Region.
Apart from the 65-year-old mango farmer at Begoro in the Fanteakwa North District of the region, who was initially admitted at the Begoro Governmental Hospital for tuberculosis but later developed other symptoms, the remaining 31 cases are workers of AFCON Company, a construction company with ties to an Indian business conglomerate.
Meanwhile, some 58 staff of the Begoro Government Hospital believed to have come into contact with the farmer are currently under quarantine.
Their samples have been sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) for testing.
Minister disagrees to lock down region
There are calls for the government to extend the lockdown imposed on Accra and Kumasi to other regions in the country, as the novel coronavirus keeps spreading across the country.
So far, 10 out of the 16 regions have confirmed cases of the disease.
After the Eastern Region recorded its first case, the Minority Caucus on the Health Committee on Friday, April 3, 2020, called for a nationwide lockdown.
But the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey insisted it was unnecessary for the government to impose a partial lockdown on the Eastern Region because of one case.