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General News of Monday, 29 June 2020

Source: GNA

Akufo-Addo to strengthen engagement with religious leaders against coronavirus

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo play videoPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he will continue to engage religious leaders and other stakeholders in the efforts to defeat the novel Coronavirus.

The President, in his 13th National broadcast to give an update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), said: “I have been very encouraged by how religious leaders have supported and embraced the fight against COVID-19, despite their concerns with some elements of the prescribed safety protocols and guidelines”.

President Akufo-Addo, in his 11th national broadcast, announced the easing of some restrictive measures that had earlier been taken by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

These included religious organisations, including churches and mosques, opening for in-person services on June 5 and June 7, respectively, but under the strict observation of some specified measures.

The measures include the daily compilation of attendance registers, limiting services to a maximum of one hour, ensuring the regular fumigation and disinfection of their entire premises.

The organisations must also provide veronica buckets and regular source of water supply, soap and sanitizers for regular hand washing and cleansing, and also temperature guns.

They were to also the maintain social distancing regulation by ensuring at least a one-meter sitting spacing, allow a maximum of only 100 worshipers into each service at a time, ensure that every congregant wore a face mask before being allowed into their auditorium.

Additionally, all religious institutions must provide holding rooms for sick persons who show signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and to liaise with health officials to ensure effective contact tracing in the event of a confirmed case, among other measures.

Some pastors, especially those with large congregations, have urged the Government to review the restrictions for services, saying the time limitation made it practically impossible for meaningful fellowship and for covering the entire membership.

President Akufo-Addo said as of Saturday, June 27, 2020, Ghana had recorded a cumulative of 17,351 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 12,994 had recovered and had been discharged.

There are 4,245 active cases, with 30 persons severely ill and in critically condition.

Sadly, the President said, 112 persons had succumbed to the virus and urged those who feel unwell with the symptoms of coughing, sneezing and loss of smell and taste to report early to health facilities.

This is because, according to the Ghana Health Service, most of the deaths occurred upon the patient's arrival at the health facility or within 48 hours of admission.

Ghana has conducted a total of 294,867 tests so far.