President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that, pending approval by Parliament, the government will institute National Unemployment Insurance Scheme to provide temporary income support to workers who lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added that the government is increasing funding under the CAP Business Support Scheme, with an additional GH¢150 million, to ensure an increased number of beneficiaries.
“Furthermore…, Government is establishing a Guarantee Scheme of some GH¢2 billion to enable businesses access credit at more affordable rates so they can survive, and better able to retain jobs,” the President further disclosed when he addressed the nation yesterday on Ghana’s enhanced response to the pandemic.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the intervention is to reaffirm the government’s resolve to “save lives, jobs and livelihoods, revitalise our economy, and safeguard the future of our country.”
“I assure you that, under my watch as President of the Republic, Government will continue to work to create a diversified, transformed economy, fashion a conducive business climate that will deliver development, progress and prosperity for all Ghanaians. This is my solemn pledge to you,” he added.
Giving hope to Ghanaians, President Akufo-Addo indicated that although the figure 32,969 representing persons who have contracted the virus might look disturbing, a closer look, however, “will tell you that we are steadily on the path towards limiting and containing the virus, and, ultimately, defeating it. The figure to look out for is the number of active cases.”
The President stated that, per the statistics since his last update, there has been tremendous improvement in the recovery rate.
“Today, it is twenty-eight thousand, nine hundred and twenty-seven (29,494). This means our recovery rate has improved from seventy-five percent (75%) of positives, a month ago, to eighty-nine point five percent (89.5%), all in one month currently,” he said.
He continued, “Our hospitalisation and death rates have, consistently, been very low, some of the lowest in Africa and in the world. The Ghanaian people, mercifully, are not dying of the virus in the hundreds and thousands that were earlier anticipated and predicted, and that are being seen on a daily basis in some other countries. The behaviour of this virus has baffled the experts and defied most predictions, but five months on, we can say that we are witnessing a much milder manifestation of the virus in the country, than was initially feared. The rate of virus-related deaths has remained, persistently, low at 0.5% of confirmed cases.”
President Akufo-Addo further announced that, after extensive consultations, Government has taken the decision to embark upon the implementation of Phase Two of the easing of restrictions in some sectors of the economy.
According to him, it is worth commending the churches and mosques for their strict adherence to the 25 per cent occupancy since restrictions were imposed on their activities some seven weeks ago.
“I extend my deepest appreciation to our religious leaders for their strict adherence to the safety protocols, which have prevented any known outbreaks, since they restarted their services,” he said.
The President disclosed that, in consultations with church leaders, the restrictions on the number of congregants worshipping at a time in Church will be lifted from August 1, “with the length of worship extended from one to two hours per service.”
“Church leaders, who are desirous of implementing this enhanced easing directive, must ensure that congregants wear face masks at all times, and the one metre social distancing rule is scrupulously applied.
“These same guidelines apply to worship in our Mosques. With greater numbers of congregants likely to return for worship, I would, respectfully, ask the religious leaders to pay even greater attention to the fresh air ventilation of their premises, rather than relying on the use of air conditioners,” he said.
The President further announced that, in consultation with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the health experts, Ghana’s tourist sites and attractions have been re-opened.
“Open air drinking spots can now function. The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols. Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Whilst the restrictions on the transport sector has been lifted, allowing for full capacity in the nation’s domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses, the country’s borders, by air, land and sea, remain closed until further notice for human traffic.
Source: Daily Statesman