President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has extended for another two weeks the suspension of all public and social gatherings in the country. This affects gatherings in churches and mosques.
The President, in his national address yesterday, to give an update on Ghana’s enhanced response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, explained that he arrived at the decision after engaging a number of stakeholders on how best to contain the virus.
“I met with the Chairperson and Members of the Council of State, the President and Members of the Standing Committee of the National House of Chiefs, representatives of organised labour, i.e. the leadership of the Trades Union Congress, the leadership of the Christian Community, the leadership of the Muslim Community, the President and Executive Committee of the Ghana Medical Association, representatives and leaders of the Media, and the leadership of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), and its affiliated associations.
The strong consensus that emerged from these and other consultations is that the existing measures must be maintained for now, until we have a firm grip on the movement of the virus. This consensus is supported by data and science, and I am also very much of this view,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that since his last address, another 32,031 samples have been analysed, bringing the number of tests from 68,591 to 100,622.
“From this pool, the total number of confirmed infections have gone from One Thousand and Forty-Two (1,042), to One Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty (1,550). Our recoveries are now One Hundred and Fifty-Five (155), and deaths eleven (11). The two (2) new cases of deaths, like the other nine (9), are all of persons with underlying health issues, what the doctors call comorbidity. The positivity rate, i.e. the rate of infection from those sampled, continues to remain constant at 1.5%. Six (6) persons are critically ill, and the remaining One Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Eight (1,378) have mild or no symptoms at all, and are responding to treatment,” he said.
According to the Ghana Health Service, 513 of the confirmed cases are from routine surveillance, which has had 21, 047 samples tested so far; 922 cases from contact tracing with 77,553 samples tested; and 115 from mandatory quarantine with 2,022 samples tested.
Out of the total confirmed cases, Greater Accra is the region with the highest number, 1347. It is followed by Ashanti Region with 69 cases; Eastern Region with 57 cases; Oti and Central regions with 17 cases each; Northern Region with 13 cases; Volta, 10; Upper West and Upper East, eight each; and North East, two.
President Nana Akufo-Addo urged the citizenry to help curb the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, washing of hands with soap under running water, refraining from shaking hands and wearing of masks whenever they leave their homes.
“I am happy to note that the hardworking Minister for Health, Hon Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central, has… issued directives to guide the production and mandatory wearing of face masks. We should all familiarise ourselves with them, and apply them, as the Regional Co-ordinating Councils of the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central Regions are demanding of their residents,” he said.
The President is optimistic that following these protocols will be very effective in helping many Ghanaians avoid contracting the virus.
“The doctors and scientists tell us that the virus is transmitted from human contact – talking, singing, coughing, sneezing, and, thereby, sending droplets of the virus from one person to another. That is why each one of us must adhere strictly to these directives,” he said.