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Sammy Gyamfi, 3 others sue AG, GHS over compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

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Sammy Gyamfi

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, and three other persons, have sued the Attorney General and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) over the government’s mandatory covid-19 vaccination policy.

As part of efforts to get more Ghanaians to vaccinate against COVID-19, government has introduced new measures at the Kotoka International Airport.

It has also announced plans to prevent the unvaccinated population from accessing certain public spaces such as stadia and entertainment event centres during the yuletide.

However, Mr. Gyamfi together with three other applicants in a suit, argue that the directive has no legal backing.

“That I am advised by Counsel and verily believe same to be true that the respondents do not have any constitutional, legal or reasonable basis whatsoever for the directives issued and dated 9th and 14th December 2021, and the public announcement of 15th December 2021 by the President of the Republic of Ghana and being implemented at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).”

He indicated that the new directive restricts unvaccinated Ghanaians from traveling outside or into the country.

“There are many Ghanaian citizens abroad such as the 4th Applicant herein who although are desirous to travel to Ghana their motherland and many people in Ghana such as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Applicants, who although are desirous to travel out of Ghana to other countries for business or other important purposes, have been held hostage and are unable to do so due to the unlawful and unreasonable directives and conduct of the respondents.”

He is thus seeking the following reliefs:

A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents breach or threaten to breach the Applicants’ fundamental human rights as enshrined under Article 21(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents violated Section 2(1) of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (ACT 1012) and Sections 21, 22 and 30 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) and therefore illegal.

A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana on the administration of Emergency Use Authorized medical products and same are unreasonable.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the World Health Organization regarding proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travelers, and that same is unreasonable.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene medical ethics and best practices that govern COVID-19 vaccine administration.”

New measures at KIA

As the omicron variant of covid-19 threatens to erode gains made in the fight against the pandemic, Ghana’s health authorities and the Aviation Authority, have issued strict guidelines to airlines flying passengers into the country.

In a statement announcing new plans to guard against another wave of COVID-19 infections, the authorities said effective Tuesday, December 14, 2021, persons flying in and out of the country are to be fully vaccinated and to strictly follow stipulated guidelines for both self-preservation and the protection of the larger society.

They also warned that Airlines which bring in passengers to the Kotoka International Airport who are not fully vaccinated shall be surcharged U$3,500 per passenger; and Airlines which board passengers without PCR test results, or transport and disembark passengers with Positive PCR test results into Accra will also be fined US$3,500 per passenger.

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