Akufo-Addo

COVID 19: Gov’t bans Church activities, funerals, all other public gatherings

The government has banned all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities and other related events as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

President Nana Akufo-Addo in a national address on Sunday [March 15, 2020] said the ban will be in force for the next four weeks.

“I have decided in the interest of public safety and the protection of our population to review the public gathering advisories earlier announced as follows: Firstly, all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as services in churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four (4) weeks,” the President said.

He said private burials are allowed but should just be for a few people.

“Private burials are permitted, but with limited numbers, not exceeding twenty-five (25) in attendance.”

Shut down of schools

The President also directed all schools to shut down effective Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice.

“All Universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March, 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes. However, BECE and WASSCE candidates will be allowed to attend school to prepare for their examinations, but with prescribed social distancing protocols,” the president added.

All public gathering advisories

The full list of guidelines on public gatherings announced by President Akufo-Addo are as follows;

1. All public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as services in churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four (4) weeks. Private burials are permitted, but with limited numbers, not exceeding twenty-five (25) in attendance;

2. All Universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March, 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes. However, BECE and WASSCE candidates will be allowed to attend school to prepare for their examinations, but with prescribed social distancing protocols;

3. The Government of Ghana’s Travel Advisory issued earlier today should be observed as announced;

4. Businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate, but should observe prescribed social distancing between patrons and staff;

5. Establishments, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs, hotels and drinking spots, should observe enhanced hygiene procedures by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands;

6. The Ministry of Transport should work with the transport unions and private and public transport operators to ensure enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals, by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands; and

7. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should co-ordinate, with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, measures to enhance conditions of hygiene in markets across the country.

Coronavirus cases in Ghana

As at noon on Sunday, March 15, 2020, six cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Ghana.

Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie who provided updates on the country’s cases on Sunday said all the cases were imported into the country.

The first two cases were confirmed on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Two other cases were confirmed on Friday, March 13, 2020, while an additional two were confirmed on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

Five of the cases were confirmed in the Greater Accra Region while the remaining one was confirmed in the Ashanti Region.

Health officials have been working to trace persons who have come into contact with the patients and may be at risk of contracting the virus.

Travellers from countries with over 200 cases won’t be allowed in Ghana

The government earlier on Sunday also announced new travel directives for persons seeking to enter Ghana after the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Ghana.

At a press briefing Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah disclosed that travellers from coronavirus-hit countries with cases exceeding 200 will not be allowed in the Ghanaian jurisdiction.

The Information Minister also disclosed that travels to Ghana are strongly discouraged following the outbreak.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah further disclosed that airlines have been instructed to not to allow persons from countries with over 200 cases of COVID-19 into Ghana.

“All travels to Ghana is at this stage strongly discouraged until further notice. Any traveller, except for Ghanaian citizens, who has been to a country that has recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19 will not be allowed into the Ghanaian jurisdiction. Airlines are instructed to not allow such persons into the jurisdiction,” he said.

At the press briefing, the Information Minister also announced that there will be a “mandatory 14 days self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the country.”

Government also suspended consular services in coronavirus-hit countries.

Global statistics 

So far about 169,175 people have been infected by the virus globally with 6,499 deaths recorded.

The first case of the novel Coronavirus was recorded in China in December 2019.

It has so far spread to about 157 countries and territories around the world.

Sokynewsgh.com/SOKY TV/Ghana

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