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General News of Tuesday, 24 March 2020


Man who reportedly died of coronavirus in Ghana buried

Tarek Minkara was buried according to the Muslim traditions play videoTarek Minkara was buried according to the Muslim traditions

Ghana’s first victim associated with the coronavirus pandemic was buried on Sunday, March 22 by youth in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi based on his religion.

Clothed in hazmat suits and carrying disinfectant sprayers, the young men transported the deceased to the cemetery, observed the Islamic prayers, and laid him to rest in the company of some health officials.

61-year-old Tarek Minkara, a resident of Kumasi was a spare parts dealer and a popular figure in Kumasi.

His death was announced by the Ghana Health Service as the first in connection with the fast-spreading disease.

Deputy Health Minister, Alex Abban communicated the unfortunate news in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.

Despite having Lebanese origin, Mr Minkara was born and lived all his life in Ghana with his nuclear family.

Family rejects coronavirus claim

Although there have been direct linkages of the coronavirus to Mr Minkara’s death, a source close to the family told GhanaWeb that claims that he died of the deadly virus are false and should be disregarded.

According to the source, Tarek had been battling illness for the past three months and could not have died of the virus.

It listed pneumonia as one of the sickness that plagued Tarek and possibly led to his death.

Social media activity

Tarek’s last social media activity was on October 23, 2019.

He updated his profile photo with a picture of himself with the flag of Lebanon on his face.

Social media reactions

On Facebook, some friends and family paid tribute to the 61-year-old entrepreneur.

A post by one Facebook user described him as a ‘brother and one of a kind’.

Ghana records 27 cases

Ghana’s records on the Coronavirus rose to 27 with another death case as of Monday, March 23.

A statement on the Ghana Health Service website indicated that "As of 23rd March 2020, [14:00 GMT] a total of 521 suspected cases have been tested for COVID-19 by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR).

"Among the confirmed cases, twenty are of Ghanaian nationality, the majority of whom returned home from affected countries. Seven are of other nationals namely: Norway, Lebanon, China, France, UK."

In respect of contact tracing, a total of 598 contacts have been identified and are being tracked.

One of the contacts developed symptoms and has been confirmed positive.

Nineteen people have completed the 14 days of mandatory follow up.

Border closure

Addressing the country on measures taken by the government to control the spread of the virus, Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced closure of the country’s borders to human traffic.

He explained that the country's borders- land, air and sea- will be closed at midnight on Sunday.

The closure will, however, not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.

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