Mr Agyekum said unnecessary stigmatization was preventing families from voluntarily reporting relatives suspected to have the virus to health authorities for immediate testing and treatment.
Speaking at a public education campaign on the COVID-19 disease at Kumawu, Mr Agyekum said stigmatization was hampering the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
He said the assembly was prioritizing education on stigmatization to help the people get a better understanding of the disease and the need not to be afraid of getting tested.
Mr Agyekum said people, especially those in rural communities needed to get the right information on the disease and what was required of them to stay safe from contracting and spreading the virus in their communities.
“If our people are not well educated against stigmatization, their family members especially returnees from abroad who might have contracted the disease will be hidden from public notice until the situation gets worse before they are referred to health centres for medical attention”, he stated.
He called on the people to strictly adhere to the preventive protocols to prevent themselves and families from getting infected with the disease.
Mr Lawrence Adinku, District Director of Health Services said preventive measures were meant to protect the people and not to curtail their freedoms.
He urged community members to regularly wash their hands with water and soap, wear nose masks, and maintain social distancing to stay safe.