ECOWAS Chairman John Mahama refused to shake hands with the heads of state of the three Ebola-stricken nations he visited on Monday September 15, over fear of contracting the deadly Ebola virus, the BBC’s Umaru Fofana has said.
The Ghanaian President visited Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to enable him hold discussions with his colleague heads of state on available sub-regional and international interventions to support the countries in their effort to contain and manage the outbreak.
The Nigeria-based BBC journalist says the fear of the deadly virus compelled Mahama and his host heads of state to breach the usual protocol of pleasantries that accompany presidential visits.
“Interesting that Ghanaian President and ECOWAS Chairman and his host President Ernest Bai Koroma did not shake hands during the brief visit to Sierra Leone today. Very interesting how both men wanted to do the handshake and both held back. Ebola you are TERRIBLE!” Fofana wrote on his Facebook.
Mahama used the opportunity of the visit to donate some Made-in-Ghana products to the afflicted countries.
The haemorrhagic disease has already killed more than 2,000 people in West Africa and affected twice that number.
Apart from the three worst-hit countries visited by Mahama, the other affected areas in the region include Nigeria, D R Congo and Senegal.
Ghana has tested several suspected cases, which have all proved negative.