President Akufo-Addo has emphasised that the lifting of the partial lockdown in Accra, Kasoa, Tema, and Kumasi does not mean the government is letting its guard down, stressing “all other measures are still firmly in place, and have not been relaxed.”
“In here, I am referring to the suspension of all public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, parties, nightclubs, drinking spots, beaches, festivals, political rallies, religious activities and sporting events. All educational facilities, private and public, are to remain closed. Businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate, observing staff management and workplace protocols with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols,” he said when he addressed the nation on Sunday, April 19.
To operators of public transport, including buses, trotros and taxis, the President stressed that they are to continue to run with a minimum number of passengers, as they have been doing for the last three weeks in maintaining social distancing.
“They must also continue to ensure the maintenance of enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals, by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands. Domestic airlines are required to adhere to the same protocols,” he added.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, together with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, he added, will continue to implement measures to enhance conditions of hygiene in markets across the country, and expand the policy of alternate-days-for-alternative-products to improve social distancing in all markets.
“As has been established, the overwhelming majority of confirmed cases have come from travellers or from people who have come into contact with travellers. It is, therefore, incumbent on us to continue to be vigilant about travelers into our country until further notice, and to congratulate the men and women of the Immigration Service and the Marine Police Unit for their work in securing our borders…. I have, thus, signed an Executive Instrument, to extend the closure of our borders for two (2) more weeks, beginning Monday, 20th April,” the President said.
He continued, “Like the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently advised, I want to encourage you to wear a mask wherever you go, as it will help you not to contract the virus, and keep it clean. If you own a business, or are providing a service, i.e. a barber, a hairdresser, a tailor, a taxi driver, a trotro driver and his ‘mate’, a shop keeper, a food seller, please do well to use a mask. The Ministry of Health will very soon issue guidelines on face masks for public use.”
President Akufo-Addo entreated religious, traditional, community and opinion leaders to partner with government in engaging, mobilising and enforcing adherence to social distancing and personal hygiene practices in their respective communities. He urged persons who have lost their loved ones to bury them, as the morgues in the country are becoming full.