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General News of Monday, 20 April 2020


Allowing movement of persons doesn't mean we're letting our guard down – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said lifting the three-week restriction on movement in some parts of the country imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus does not mean the government is letting down its guard in the fight against the virus.

According to the President, apart from the free movement of persons all other measures are still in force to control the spread of the disease.

Addressing the nation in a televised address on Sunday, 19 April 2020, Nana Akufo-Addo said: “I must make it clear, at the outset, that lifting these restrictions does not mean we are letting our guard down. All other measures are still firmly in place. For the avoidance of doubt, the earlier measures announced on Wednesday, 15th March, which have been extended, are still very much in force, and have not been relaxed. I am demanding even greater adherence to these measures.

“In here, I am referring to the suspension of all public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, parties, nightclubs, drinking spots, beaches, festivals, political rallies, religious activities and sporting events. All educational facilities, private and public, are to remain closed. Businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate, observing staff management and workplace protocols with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols.

“Operators of public transport, including our buses, trotros and taxis, are to continue to run with a minimum number of passengers, as they have been doing for the last three weeks in maintaining social distancing. They must also continue to ensure the maintenance of enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals, by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands. Domestic airlines are required to adhere to the same protocols.”

Nana Akufo-Addo added that “the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, together with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, will continue to implement measures to enhance conditions of hygiene in markets across the country, and expand the policy of alternate-days-for-alternative-products to improve social distancing in all markets.”

Explaining why he lifted the ban on movement of persons, the President said the country now has the ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons, the enhancement of our capacity to test, the expansion in the numbers of our treatment and isolation centres, the better understanding of the dynamism of the virus, the ramping up of domestic capacity to produce our own personal protective equipment, sanitisers and medicines, the modest successes chalked at containing the spread of the virus in Accra and Kumasi, and the severe impact on the poor and vulnerable.