La Palm quarantine: Confinement “difficult”, not a holiday – Pharmacist

A Ghanaian pharmacist in detention has rejected suggestions of luxury for people quarantined at plush hotels in Accra to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The man was whisked away on Saturday, March 21, together with 21 others, after their flight landed in Accra, from Nigeria. They had to wait for four hours for arrangements to be transported to their holding facility.

The government has rolled out a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all Ghanaians entering the country from abroad, where infections have reached alarming numbers.

Social media has been agog following photos from persons under lockdown with some critics questioning the hosting of travelers at 5-star hotels.

But the pharmacist insists that the ordeal is unpleasant even though officials provide optimum conditions.

“It is not a holiday because I am confined,” he lamented in an interview with JoyNews.

He said movement has been curtailed with police and military guards ensuring that each person remains in solitary confinement.

He remains “calm” even though no contact is allowed at the La Palm Hotel, where he is based.

They live in separate rooms and hotel staff regularly bring them food which is left at the doors for pick up. Breakfast is served at 9 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and supper at 6:30 p.m.

The meals are packed in foil and delivered. Recipes include rice, beef sauce, vegetables and stew. Bread, sausage and boiled eggs are served in the mornings.

The only time they are permitted outside is to check their temperature.

“We are not allowed to move about. In fact, there is a security presence–both military and police. When you move about they will politely tell you to go back to your room unless you are going to the health post to check your temperature or other vitals,” he explained.

People confined to their rooms entertain themselves by watching programmes on TV, Netflix or YouTube, and wait for news from authorities, he disclosed.

The pharmacist said the health personnel, immigration officers, and those at the hotel’s reception seem not to know how long they will be confined.

His sample was taken on Monday at about 6 pm and he is waiting for the results of the coronavirus test.

“I am not anxious,” he said.

He is already armed with immune system boosters from Nigeria. He believes “there is a conscious effort to increase the vegetables in the meals”.

He was emphatic that friends and family have been barred from visiting the facility.

“Someone wanted to bring me some food, but the person was denied access even the food was not allowed. I think the instruction is that ‘nothing in, nothing out’. No visitors,” he noted.

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