COVID-19: Nana Addo to remove restrictions

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday dropped a hint of his intention to ease the Covid-19 restriction orders.

This was when he joined the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu and other Muslim leaders in the studios of Ghana Television as they said the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, with strict adherence to the social distancing protocol.

“Stakeholder consultations are taking place on the way forward towards the easing of restrictions, so that our social and economic lives can go back to normal,” he said.

Even though he did not tell when that would be, the President said, “I expect these consultations to conclude this week, so that I can announce to Ghanaians a clear roadmap for easing the restrictions.”

“We have to find a way back, but in safety, for we cannot be under these restrictions forever,” he added.

Covid Fatalities

Whilst he felt sad about the number of deaths recorded in the country since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, he somehow took solace in the fact that the rate of deaths in Ghana amongst confirmed cases is “very low – one per one million, i.e. 0.0001%, one of the lowest in Africa and, indeed, in the world… despite the very high number of tests we are carrying out.”

“This has been so since the very beginning of the outbreak over two months ago. The number of positive cases stands at 6,683, out of 194,763 tests conducted, with 1,998 recoveries,” he explained.

According to him, “this means that our positivity rate, that is, the ratio of confirmed cases to the total number of tests conducted is 3.43%, which, again, is one of the lowest in Africa and in the world.

“It appears that, by the grace of God, Ghanaians are not dying of this virus in the numbers that were originally anticipated and feared,” he noted with hope, adding “the number of severe virus cases that have been hospitalised has been persistently low since the outbreak.”

He said “the fear that our hospitals would be overburdened and, indeed, overwhelmed has so far, again, by the grace of God, not materialised.”

At the time, he said there were 16 severe cases in six hospitals across the country, and none of them was on a ventilator, and we prayed for their speedy recovery.

He indicated that there is a more robust mechanism for enforcing its central strategy of defeating the virus – the application of the 3Ts (tracing, testing and treating).

“These developments, and continuing strong adherence to the social distancing and hygiene protocols, including wearing of masks and strengthening our immune systems by eating our own foods, will enable us to face the future with greater confidence as we battle to defeat the virus and pray for our healthcare workers,” he stressed.

Zongo Projects

The President said that a lot of projects were in the pipeline under the Zongo Development Fund. He gave an assurance that those countrywide projects would soon be rolled out.

Unusual Prayers

The virtual prayers were as unusual as the pandemic which has unleashed upon the world new normal ways of doing things.

The Eid-ul-Fitr prayers took place in studios instead of in the open as demanded by the Islamic scriptures.

One of the dignitaries who joined in the virtual Eid prayers in the studios was the newly sworn in Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Tanko Amadu, who the President acknowledged rather beautifully.

Studio Prayers

During his post-prayer sermon, the National Chief Imam who led the prayers said Muslims are grateful to the President for the deserved elevation of Justice Tanko to the Supreme Court.

He commended the President for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, observing that his consistent updates on the state of the disease in the country were an expression of his confidence in dealing with it.

Peace For Ghana

The Chief Imam urged Ghanaians to let peace prevail as the country inches this year’s elections.

All stakeholders, he said, should ensure that nothing untoward occurs during these times, saying “all should respect the views of others.”

Present during the prayers were the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia; Dr. Rabiatu Ammah; the Zongo, Minister Dr. Mustapha Hamid; and representatives of Shia Muslims, the Ghana Muslim Mission, among other dignitaries.

No Fanfare

Across the country there was an unusual silence, something not noticed on such occasions. In Accra, the usual carnival by the chiefs of the various Zongo ethnic groups was absent, as was the case in Kumasi.

Individual Muslims prayed with their families at home.

But for the occasional scene of young boys and girls carrying food in baskets for delivery to family members and friends in their neighbourhoods, the day was like the usual Covid-19 driven days, more so being a Sunday.

Source : DGN

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