"We Have Let Our Guard Down" - President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has expressed disappointment in sime sections of the populace for failing to adhere to the covid-19 protocols meted out by his government.
According to him, per the increasing number of cases being recorded, the citizenry have let their guard down.
Addressing the nation on Sunday evening, President Akufo-Addo said "Fellow Ghanaians, it is obvious from the data that we have let our guard down, with many going about their daily duties in clear breach and disregard for the protocols. At a time when the economy is on the rebound, and business activities picking up, we must do everything possible to contain this outbreak"
He also added that the country cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, since it brought considerable hardships and difficulties to the populace.
President Akufo-Addo further hinted that as at Wednesday, 21st July 2021, ten (10) weeks later, the Ghana Health Services is now reporting that the country's total number of active cases stands at four thousand and ninety-four (4,094).
He explained that a total of one million, three hundred and ninety-four thousand, five hundred and forty (1,394,540) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and one thousand, one hundred and seventy (101,170) persons have been infected with the virus, and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and fifty-five (96,255) persons have recovered.
"Our daily infection rate is ……… and, sadly, thirty-six (36) more people have died from COVID over the last ten (10) weeks, bringing the cumulative number of deaths to eight hundred and nineteen (819) since the onset of the pandemic"
The Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces however noted that Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remain the hotspots of infections.
"This entire development is very alarming, especially as we are being told by officials of the Ghana Health Service, that the recovery rate is on the decline" he said.
"Fortunately for us, we have tried and tested response protocols which we have implemented since March 2020"
President Akufo-Addo mentioned that following the surge in cases, the country has no choice but to return to the strict implementation of some of them. "It is extremely troubling to note that the high compliance rate with mask wearing has fallen alarmingly"
He stressed that the wearing of masks in public places, continues to be mandatory adding that there are no exceptions to the rule, and strict conformity with the protocol will be enforced.
He fumed that anyone found to be flouting the directive will have him or herself to blame.
"We cannot afford to allow the recklessness of a few to endanger the lives of the majority of persons in the country" He told Ghanaians that the COVID-19 Taskforce, which he chairs, has recommended that a second look be taken at the protocols that have been put in place for the holding of funerals across the country.
"I have, in previous updates, emphasised the need for the strict observance of safety protocols at funerals, and the following measures are a set of enhanced protocols which must be adhered to by all at funerals"
"All events associated with funerals must be held in open air spaces. There must be observance of the one (1) metre social distancing rule by sympathisers. The wearing of masks is mandatory, and persons must respect the enhanced hygiene protocols"
President Akufo-Addo added that funerals should not go beyond the two (2) hour time duration adding that post-funeral receptions have been banned.
He stressed that handshakes must be avoided whiles one-week funeral celebrations are restricted solely to family members, and should not exceed a duration of two (2) hours.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith