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General News of Monday, 18 January 2021


Foreign media coverage of coronavirus address: new variant, mask rules, rising cases

President Akufo-Addo during January 17 address play videoPresident Akufo-Addo during January 17 address

The international media reportage on president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's January 17 COVID-19 address touched on a number of key areas - the new virus variant, rising cases, orders to police and concerns of a strained healthcare system.

Ghanaweb looks at some of the headlines as covered by news agencies and major continental news portals.

BBC Africa zoomed in on especially the new COVID-19 variant. Correspondent Thomas Naadi's report on the Africa LIVE page also focused on the recent spike in cases.

The government's 3T strategy - testing, tracing and treatment also featured as did the order for police to strictly enforce prevention measures.

Ghana is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases. It is currently recording an average of 200 new cases daily, with severe cases being recorded among young people, Naadi's report read in part.

Reuters Africa went with the headline: "Ghana’s president warns of health system overload as COVID cases rise."

It quoted the president saying: "Our Covid-19 treatment centers have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections."

CNN Africa and other portals like the US World News reproduced the Reuters story on their page.

On their part, the Chinese Xinhua News Agency zoomed in on the presidential order for enforcement of COVID-19 measures like mask wearing and closure of selected public places.

Their headline read: "Ghanaian president instructs security services to enforce COVID-19 protocols."

The report read in part: Akufo-Addo, therefore, urged Ghanaians to follow the protocols of wearing face masks, washing hands, the use of hand sanitizers regularly and maintaining social distancing to prevent a further spread of the disease.

“Severe punishments exist in our statute books for persons breaking the law on the mandatory wearing of masks. Should anyone be arrested by the security agencies disregarding this directive, that person will be dealt with strictly according to the law,” Akufo-Addo cautioned.

A related Xinhua report looked at the reopening of schools leading with a headline about concerns on the part of teachers and students relative to rise of cases.

Many teachers and students in Ghana said on Monday that after several months of school closure due to COVID-19, it is good the government has reopened schools for academic work, but they also voiced their concern over the country's rising cases.

A visit to some junior and senior high schools (JHSs/SHSs) in Ghana's port city Tema by Xinhua on the reopening day indicates COVID-19 safety protocols have been widely followed on campus, the report read in part.

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