President Akufo-Addo says government is procuring some 18,478,670 vaccines through the COVAX facility, African Medicine Supply Platform and other bodies in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the nation on Sunday, July 25, the President noted that these vaccines will arrive in the country in the third quarter of the year.

According to him, the United States of America, through the COVAX facility, is providing one million Pfizer vaccines, the African Union is providing 229,670 Pfizer vaccines, while the United Kingdom is giving out 249,000 AstraZeneca vaccines.

“Government is also in the process of procuring 17 million single doses per person Johnson & Johnson vaccines, through the African Medicine Supply Platform, in this quarter,” he added.

He disclosed that the country’s national, regional and district cold chain facilities have also been upgraded to widen access to vaccines like Pfizer and Modena, which require minus seventy degrees Celsius (-70℃) cold chains.

This, the President assured, will help achieve herd immunity to protect citizens from the coronavirus disease.

So far, about 1,271,393 Ghanaians have been inoculated. Out of this figure, 405,971 persons have received both jabs, while 865,422 have only received the first dose of vaccines.

The update from President Akufo-Addo comes at a time when the country is seeing a drastic rise in the number of Covid-19 cases reported.

The Ghana Health Service, in its last update, stated that Ghana now has over 4,000 active cases owing to the total disregard of the safety protocols such as the wearing of facemasks, observing social distancing, among others.

Confirming this, the President said the country appears to be experiencing the third wave of the pandemic.

“As per data available from the Ghana Health Service, it appears that, unfortunately, our nation is experiencing a third wave of Covid-19 infections.”

“These increased infections have largely been driven by the Delta Variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates, and, in our case in Ghana, has led, in recent weeks, to a rise in hospitalisation and ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths,” he added.

He noted that the country cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, which brought considerable hardships and difficulties.

President Akufo-Addo, therefore, called for strict adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocols. Furthermore, all events associated with funerals, he stressed must be held in open-air spaces.

“There must be observance of the one-metre social distancing rule by sympathisers, the wearing of masks is mandatory, and persons must respect the enhanced hygiene protocols; funerals should not go beyond the two-hour time duration,” he said.

Again all post-funeral receptions have been banned until further notice.

He also used the platform to admonish members of the general public to ensure the country attains zero active cases.

“Zero active cases must remain the overarching goal, and I have no doubt that, together, and with the help of God, this too shall pass, for the battle is still the Lord’s. May God bless us all and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong,” he concluded.