I signed Sputnik V vaccine purchase out of desperation - Health Minister

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health has admitted he erred in approving for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines without parliamentary approval.

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Health Minister-designate

He said he took the bilateral decision to deal with a third party in the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccines because of desperation.

The Dormaa Central MP said at that time the active cases and death counts were rising.

Responding to questions at the sitting of a Parliamentary Committee probing the contract, Monday, Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu said the infection and death rates compelled him to ignore laid down procedures in signing the contract for procuring the vaccines.

“I was in a desperate and helpless situation with the management of the covid numbers. In February [this year], we had 78 deaths; by March, we had 56 deaths, and these were the numbers that pushed me to act.”

“…if you were the Health Minister, I think you might have taken certain decisions that in hindsight you may not have done those things. The country was not in normal times.

“…this was the environment I found myself in and out of desperation, frustration, and so many things,” he lamented.

The Minister said he was desperate to get vaccines and was frustrated because regular vaccine supply sources had failed.

Government signed a contract for the purchase of 3.4 million doses of the vaccine after it received an initial 15,000 doses from Sheikh Al Maktoum on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

According to Mr Agyemang Manu, Sheikh Al Maktoum had brought the initial consignment to demonstrate the availability of the commodity once the deal is done.

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