C’ttee charged to investigate escape, death of COVID -19 patient

The Western Regional Health Directorate has set up a five-member Committee to investigate the escape of a patient from the COVID-19 Treatment Centre of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital (ENRH) and his subsequent death on Thursday morning.

Members of the committee are Deputy Director of Clinical Care, Dr Atsu Dodor, chairman; Deputy Director at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), Mrs Daphine Kemmeh, secretary; Regional Security Coordinator, Captain Hansen Obu (Rtd); the Acting Medical Superintendent at the Takoradi Hospital, Dr George Peprah; and Deputy Chief of Administration at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Mr Michael Danso.

The committee is expected to submit its report on August 27, 2021, for the directorate to take appropriate action on the matter.

Addressing members of the committee on Friday, the Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah, said the committee was to verify the clinical status of the patient at the time of admission, determine the circumstances leading to the escape and subsequent death, among others.

It is also expected to recommend to management measures to avert the recurrence of such an incident.

Dr Yeboah said, “Management trusts in your capacity to excel in this exercise and we will offer you the required support to enable you to succeed.”

It will be recalled that on Thursday morning, Mr Paulus Okine, 55, died shortly after leaving the COVID-19 isolation centre with a ‘denial’ that he did not have the disease.

His body was later found about 250 metres away from the COVID-19 centre.

The victim allegedly scaled a wall and left the centre, but later died after he collapsed while escaping.

Okine was referred to the COVID-19 centre from the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, for observation and treatment.

The Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Madam Justina Amo Yartey, who confirmed the story to the Ghanaian Times, explained that “the victim scaled a wall to escape and unfortunately met his death after he collapsed on the way.”

She said the Rapid Response Team and the police were invited before the body of Okine was deposited at the mortuary at the same hospital and police investigations began.

Madam Yartey lamented that some people, especially those at markets, funerals and other public gatherings, failed to observe COVID-19 protocol.

She cautioned the public to observe the COVID-19 protocol, “Because the disease is real”, adding, “Let’s wear nose masks, wash our hands with soap under running water, use sanitisers and stop the fun. Let’s protect ourselves and be each other’s keeper. We are still recording positive cases.”


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