Yesterday, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo the president of the Republic of Ghana, addressed the nation. This was the first time since his return from self-isolation to be addressing the nation on the measures his government is taking to fight the spread of Covid-19 in Ghana. This address comes a day after the country’s case count crossed over 30,000.
The president first acknowledged his return from isolation. He mentioned that the world as a whole is hopping that salvation comes in the form of effective and accessible treatment, but until then, we need to observe all safety protocols as lives go on.“We are now at the end of July. The virus is still raging. There is not an effective treatment yet. As time goes on, we – and, indeed, the world – have come to understand that COVID-19 is not a problem, which will go away on its own.” He Said.
“Ultimately, salvation will come with an effective and accessible treatment. We hope and pray that this will happen tomorrow, but it may very well happen in a couple of months, in a couple of years or it may take even longer. Until then, we have to learn to adapt to the conditions. It is not normal that we have to wear masks, but now we have to; it is not normal that we cannot shake hands with each other; and it is certainly not normal that we cannot hug our family members and loved ones; but that is our current reality. Until treatment is found, COVID-19 will remain a part of our lives.” He said.
The President also outlined measures taken to ensure the safety of final year SHS, JHS, and second-year Gold Track students who returned to school on Monday, June 22. He mentioned that only a few of such students have tested positive to covid-19 and was hopeful that they will all attain full recovery in no time since they are all largely asymptomatic,
He made mention of plans and preparations towards reopening of schools. “Government continues to engage with the stakeholders in the education sector to determine the conditions for the future re-opening of schools, after the current examinations are concluded by mid-September. I will keep you fully informed about the outcomes.” He said.
He spoke about some relief packages implemented by his administration, and that some had been repeated for the next three months as mentioned by the finance minister during the mid-year budget review last week
The completion and handing over on Friday of the one hundred (100) beds Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre at the Ga East Municipal Hospital was also mentioned.
President Akufo Addo added that from 1st August, 2020, the restrictions on the number of congregant worshipping at a time in Church will be lifted, with the length of worship extended from one (1) to two (2) hours per service. He however cautioned church leaders to ensure that congregants wear face masks at all times, and the one (1) meter social distancing rule is scrupulously applied. These same guidelines apply to worship in our Mosques.
He also announced the reopening of our nation’s tourist sites and attractions. Management of these facilities was tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols. Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice.
On the other hand, our female Under-20 and Under-17 national football teams have been given the clearance to go into their respective training camps to begin preparations towards their FIFA and CAF-sanctioned international matches, which begin in September.
Government has also taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector, and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses. The wearing of masks in vehicles and aircrafts, and the maintenance of enhanced hygiene protocols, remain mandatory.
Private burials, still, with a maximum of one hundred (100) persons, can continue to be performed.