Little or no thought did she give to the possibility of finding herself alone in a hotel room and be classified among 1029 others as ‘quarantined’.
The first aim was achieved, with grace and finesse she won the beauty pageant but the second was hit by an unexpected delay.
In the late hours of Saturday March 21, about 485kilometres away from Ghana’s capital, the bombshell was dropped.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo announced a two-week closure of the country’s entry points.
Somewhere in Lagos, the news got to her and in haste she packed up her stuff, altered travelling arrangements with an aim to beat the deadline.
But what she was completely ignorant of was a caveat in the President’s speech that made it obligatory for the state to quarantine travellers who arrived in the country between the day of the announcement and the deadline.
Luggage loaded, plane in the air and in the next few hours she was on her motherland. It was at that point airport officials relayed the message to her.
She and her batch of travellers were going to be put in quarantine centres by the government. Shocked and dismayed as she was, she still had to comply because no one dares challenge an order by the commander-in-chief of Ghana’s armed forces.
“I arrived in Ghana from Nigeria on March 22 and I was anticipating to go home because the president had said that ban on travels was going to take effect on Monday. So I actually rushed to Ghana so that I could be that but upon arrival, we met a team of government officials who told us we had to be taken to a mandatory quarantine to check if we have been infected or not”.
“I was very disturbed because that was exactly what I wanted to dodge but I couldn’t. We went to check out our luggage and we were sent to the quarantine facility by a military bus”.
She was pleasantly awed by treatment meted out to them by the security and health officials at the airport. She reckons ‘they were professional’.
At the quarantine centre, the adventure began, fourteen days of loneliness, fourteen days of living in a room you never for once thought of spending a night at. The two-week journey discovering your status as Covid-19 positive or negative began and despite the mental strain, she quickly had to adapt to her a new environment.
Then came the moment she dreaded – the first test. Here, she corroborates Gifty Anti’s claim of the feeling of anxiety and consternation the process comes with.
She reveals the emotional distress between the period of testing and announcement of result.
“In the bus were psyched that it was going to take four days but later they told us it was going take two weeks”.
“We were told that we were going get tested and that actually got me anxious and worried. I was afraid that I might have been exposed and It had a psychological effect on me. When I felt a tickle of sneeze or cough, you feel is that the virus. It had an effect on me until I got tested. That period was very anxious. Anytime the phone rang or a knock on the door I anticipated a team of people to come test us”.
“The third day they came around to test us. Two health workers used something like a cotton bud, dipped it down our throat for a few seconds before taking it out. So that’s how it was conducted. It took quite sometime for the result to come out and it was quite worrying. I was alone in a room and speaking to friends and family on phone and all they kept asking was about the result. It was quite daunting.
“I won’t dispute Gifty Anti’s claim because it wasn’t a nice situation. It wasn’t a comfortable situation at all. Already you are isolated from people who will comfort you and going through the trauma of it might be positive or negative because you’ve exposed to a whole of people and hearing some top people who have infected. I was anxious until the result came and everyone of us tested negative,” she explained.
She commends government’s steps in dealing with virus and despite discomfort, she believes it was worth it.
“We are very comfortable and we take breakfast, lunch and supper. Initially the hotel staff were understandably unfriendly but after the first test, things have improved. We were in our rooms and couldn’t go anywhere”.
“I didn’t expect all this but through it all I have come understand that its for the better good of us, our friends and family. If weren’t tested and we were negative, we would have gone out and infect our family. I have gotten to understand that It was for our own good. I’m glad I was tested and negative,” she concluded with relief.