Some residents of Community 16 Batsona Spintex are against the planned usage of a residential facility donated by Gideon Titi-Ofei, Presiding Bishop, Pleasant Place Church, to be an isolation centre for Covid-19 patients.
The 100 bed facility which hitherto housed the Temple Christian College and now Joshua Leadership Bible School, located at DSTV Junction Batsona Spintex in Tema West, was given to the Tema West Municipal Health Directorate to be used as a temporary isolation centre.
Residents who had amassed in front of the property Thursday morning, were visibly agitated following a Facebook post by the Bishop and planned handing over of the facility to the Municipal Health Directorate.
The residents alleged that sewage system at the facility was in a deplorable state as faecal matter from the school was deposited into a gutter and considering the increasing number of squatters in the area in recent times, it would be unsafe for the facility to be used as an isolation centre as residents could be exposed to higher health risk.
Mr Kow Dawson, a resident, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said, "We are principally not against supporting government in the fight against covid-19 since it is a collective responsibility which requires that the needed support is given to the Ghana Health Service"
"But we outrightly reject this planned use of the facility for the treatment of Covid-19 patients and insist that even if it will go ahead, residents ought to be assured of measures put in place for their safety and all sewage problems are adequately dealt with."
He said the community was not consulted before the decision was made, adding that it would be advisable and in the interest of the community to site a centre farther away to prevent a possible mass contamination and transmission.
Mr Ishmael Ollenu, Manager of the Facility, refuted the allegation and said there was no such intended plan to use the facility as an isolation centre as was being purported, adding that it was a benevolent gesture by the Bishop to use the property to house medical officers to facilitate their work.
He expressed concern about how some of the resident had reacted in the wake of the incident and said the gesture was in good faith meant purposely to support the government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Member of Parliament for Tema West, assuaging the fears of residents when he visited the area, reiterated that the facility was not intended for a treatment centre to house patients of covid-19, instead it would be a residential facility to house front line medical staff of the Ghana Health Service.
Meanwhile in a statement reacting to the agitation, Bishop Gideon Titi-Ofei said whiles he believed that determining the risk associated with the usage of the facility was the work of experts, he respected the rights of his neighbours to express their concerns in any way they deem fit, albeit the best approach would have been to channel those concerns to the Tema West Public Health Directorate for advice.
"I wish to assure my cherished neighbours that the offer was done in good faith. However, in the spirit of good neighbourliness I have decided to offer other forms of assistance in the fight against COVID-19, " he said.