President Akufo-Addo on Sunday updated the nation on efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
He announced a number of measures put in place as life gradually returns to normalcy with final year students returning to school
The president also addressed the country’s case count and management.
Below are 11 key points from his address.
1 – Ghana’s Covid-19 cases rise by 542, total now 11,964
President Akufo-Addo has announced that 542 more people in the country have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
This brings the number of confirmed cases to 11,964 with 4,258 recoveries.
The total number of active cases currently stands at 7,652 with three more people losing their lives.
He added that it is important to follow through the efforts made to control the spread of the virus adding that people should adhere to the health protocols.
2 – We have our ow unique situation, our destiny is in our hands
With close to 12,000 cases, president Akufo-Addo calmed nerves reiterating that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the resolution of the pandemic.
“We have our own unique situation in the country, and we have always taken that it into account in dealing with this disease, much as we are prepared to learn from the examples of others.
“Over the last three months, every aspect of our national life has been affected by this virus. We have had to take deliberate steps to ensure that our society, in the face of the pandemic, is able to function, and continues to strive to deliver the results of progress, prosperity and development, for which we all yearn,” he said.
The president added that saving lives, jobs, and livelihoods, revitalising the economy, and safeguarding the future of the country have been at the heart of this endeavour.
3 – Numbers are going up but no cause for alarm
President Akufo-Addo said the increase in numbers indicates that the virus has spread and continues to spread.
“We have to bear in mind, at all times, that the more people we test for the virus, the more people we are likely to discover as positive, and, thus, have the opportunity to isolate and treat them.
“If we do not test people for the virus, we will not find the persons who are positive, let alone isolate them from the population and treat them, and prevent them from spreading the virus.
For example, the total number of tests that we have conducted in Ghana, with a population of 31 million, 254,331 is one of the highest on the African continent.
4 – Face masks are mandatory
Ghanaians are now required by law to wear face masks in public places.
Those who fall foul of the new executive order will face arrest and possible prosecution, according to President Akufo-Addo.
“Leaving our homes without a face mask or face covering on is an offence,” the president said in his 11th address to the nation on the coronavirus crisis. The Police have been instructed to enforce this directive, which is the subject of an Executive Instrument,” he said.
5 – Worst affected regions need to be extra careful
The president used the address to issue a warning to residents of the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Central Regions – which have recorded the highest number of cases so far – to be particularly careful and adhere to the recommended protocols to halt the spread of the disease.
“It is important for me to remind residents of the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, where the great majority of cases have been recorded, and in the Western and Central Regions, where we are seeing an increase in infection cases, to continue to adhere strictly to the social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols announced,” he stated.
6 – Ghana now a reference point in handling Covid-19 pandemic
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana has now become a reference point for many countries in the management of Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, out of a population of about 31 million, 254,331 individuals have been tested for the virus in the last three months.
This figure, he said, remains one of the highest Covid-19 tests to have been conducted on the African continent.
“Our positivity rate, i.e. the ratio of positive cases to total tests conducted, stands at 4.7%. In our hospitals and isolation centres, we currently have 13 persons severely ill, six persons critically ill, with three persons on ventilators,” he indicated.
“The number of Covid-19 related deaths, sad though each death is, continues to remain very low, one of the lowest in Africa and the world. “With 54 deaths currently reported by the Ghana Health Service thus far in Ghana, the ratio of deaths to positive cases stands at 0.4%, compared to the global average of 5.5%, and the African average of 2.6%” he added.
7 – Decision to open educational institutions taken advisedly
The president said the decision to include schools in phase one of the easing of restrictions was taken advisedly.
Some argue that government is putting the lives of our students, teachers, and non-teaching staff in danger by this re-opening, citing the examples of other countries, who have done so and recorded spikes in their infection case counts.
But president Akufo-Addo said, “over the last three months, every aspect of our national life has been affected by this virus. We have had to take deliberate steps to ensure that our society, in the face of the pandemic, is able to function, and continues to strive to deliver the results of progress, prosperity and development, for which we all yearn.”
8 – No student should be deprived of education due to Covid-19 pandemic – Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo said no student should be deprived of education because of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
He said social justice must be delivered in a manner that does not put the lives of students and teachers at risk.
“Saving lives, jobs, and livelihoods, revitalising our economy, and safeguarding the future of our country have been at the heart of this endeavour. We cannot say that, because of the pandemic, we are no longer interested in issues of social justice, such as education and health,” he said.