About 110 people including staff of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, have been quarantined after a patient tested positive for coronavirus at the facility.
In an interview on JoyNews’ News Desk programme, Director of Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei, said it includes 11 people who shared the same ward with the first confirmed case, a number of staff and people who were discovered in the hospital.
“Right now, the ward itself has been declared as an isolation ward, so we can’t admit any patient there. But for the staff, they have been asked to mandatorily self-isolate until their results are in,” he stated.
This comes after, a female patient of the hospital tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, March 29, and has subsequently been transferred to a treatment centre.
Dr Osei, however, bemoaned the ordeal his patient had to go through before she was finally admitted into the treatment centre.
He revealed that administrators at the treatment centre were hesitant to admit the patient and it took the intervention of the Health Ministry for her to be admitted for treatment.
“Even though we had the approval of the Municipal Health Directorate, they said no, because the patient is a psychiatric patient and they cannot handle her.
“But this is purely out of discrimination because every health specialist has been given at least some basic training in mental health care.”
The Director then called on the general public to change their attitude towards people who are mentally ill.
Meanwhile, the Director in charge of Persons with Disability (PWD) at the Human Rights Watch, has told healthcare workers not to discriminate, when administering treatment to people who are mentally ill and infected with Covid-19.
Shantha Rau Barriga hoped that any psychiatric patient or physically challenged person who tests positive for the disease will be treated the same way any normal person would.
“I think it is very important that there would be no discrimination against anyone who has a mental condition or is physically challenged.
“The fact that the treatment centre initially refused her [the patient], is plain discrimination and that cannot take place,” she was categorical.