Sunday, November 29

Adhere to COVID-19 protocols or face sanctions

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, reminded Ghanaians that those who flout COVID-19 protocols will be published.

The President said the high compliance rate with mask wearing of persons recorded in survey by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had fallen according to a new survey by the Service.

This, he said, was not acceptable, as the enhanced hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing protocols must now be “central features of our lives, and they must continue to remain so for some time to come, until we see to the elimination of the virus from the country.”

President Akufo-Addo, who, gave the reminder in his 16th update on Ghana’s enhanced response to the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore warned that persons who continued to disregard the COVID-19 safety and preventive protocols, and endanger the rest of the population through their actions and negligence, would have to face severe sanctions.

He said the law enforcement agencies would, where necessary, apply these measures without fear or favour, ill-will or malice, and without recourse to a person’s ethnicity, gender or religion.

He however noted that since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, countries including Ghana had day-in-and-out, instituted measures to try to limit and contain the spread of the virus, and return lives to normalcy.

He said while some measures had been successful, others had not worked, with some countries now experiencing hikes in infection rates, and the emergence of what was referred to as a ‘second wave’ of the virus.

The President said with the effectiveness of Government policies, the co-operation of Ghanaians, and by the grace of God, the nation had been relatively spared these unwelcomed developments.

He stated that Ghana had continued to witness low hospitalization and low death rates since May 31, 2020, when Government decided to embark on a strategic, controlled, progressive, and safe easing of restrictions, to get lives and the economy back to normal in safety.

He noted that the number of active cases continued to decline, and at the time of his last address two weeks ago, the total number of active cases of COVID-19 stood at 1,847 persons, but as at Friday August 28, 2020, the number had reduced to 1, 059 persons.

Currently, a total of 42,963 persons had so far recovered from the virus, but 276 others had unfortunately died after being infected, with a great majority of them with underlying illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and chronic liver diseases, he explained.

President Akufo-Addo, stated that as much as these statistics were encouraging, in contrast to what pertained in several countries globally, “We cannot afford to let our guard down. We have to maintain, in a state of constant readiness, the enhanced infrastructure and expertise we have built during the period of the virus to cope with it.”

He said the difficulties imposed on the everyday lives of Ghanaians and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had had on livelihoods, it must serve as sufficient motivation for all, to continue to adhere to the enhanced hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing protocols that must characterize the daily routines of Ghanaians.

He said “the more we adhere, the sooner we defeat the virus, and return to our normal way of life,” expressing confidence that this could soon be over “if we put our hearts and minds to it,” and as whilst at it, he urged that Ghanaians prayed the Almighty God to keep a benevolent eye on the nation and keep it from harm.

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