‘Overpriced’ Sputnik V deal was brokered out of desperation & frustration – Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has disclosed government was forced to go into the Spuknik V deal which has become a subject of controversy because there was a dire need to deal with the coronavirus pandemic which according to him was claiming lives.

According to the minister, the contract was entered into around the time where the country recorded the most Covid-19 deaths and that it made it difficult to follow through with all the laid down processes required of his office.

“February, 78, March 56, these were the numbers [of people dying] and if you, any of us here were the Health Minister at the time I think you might have taken certain decisions that on hindsight or going forward you may not have done those things This was the environment that I found myself in. Out of desperation, frustration, so many things and people were dying we needed to protect our citizens”, he said.

He said things would probably have been done differently if it were normal times.

I want you to bear these things in mind, that I was not in normal times at all and that certain things should have been done that do not conform to the normal(sic)”, he added.

These came to light when the Minister appeared before a parliamentary committee probing the allegation that the government had entered into an inflated contract with an Emirati Shiekh to procure Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines.

The Minister last week disclosed to the committee that the contract had been terminated on the basis that the seller had not been able to meet his obligations. He also justified why the ministry ignored Attorney-General’s advice and entered into the contract.
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