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Politics of Monday, 27 July 2020


PPP National Chairman opposes Akufo-Addo's phase two of easing restrictions

PPP National Chairman,  Nana Ofori Owusu and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo PPP National Chairman, Nana Ofori Owusu and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Chairman of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), Nana Ofori Owusu has cautioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to be wary in relaxing the COVID-19 restrictions.

The President, in his 14th update on COVID-19 on Sunday, announced a second phase of easing of restrictions on public gatherings in the country.

He noted that "after further extensive consultations, Government has taken the decision to embark upon the implementation of Phase Two of the easing of restrictions in the following sectors of our national life."

He lifted the limitations on churches and mosques saying "in consultation with our Church leaders, from 1st August, 2020, the restrictions on the number of congregants worshipping at a time in Church will be lifted, with the length of worship extended from one (1) to two (2) hours per service. Church leaders, who are desirous of implementing this enhanced easing directive, must ensure that congregants wear face masks at all times, and the one (1) metre social distancing rule is scrupulously applied. These same guidelines apply to worship in our Mosques. With greater numbers of congregants likely to return for worship, I would, respectfully, ask the religious leaders to pay even greater attention to the fresh air ventilation of their premises, rather than relying on the use of air conditioners."

President Akufo-Addo also announced that public transport workers can begin to operate in full capacity as public transport buses were earlier asked to reduce the number of passengers as a social distancing rule.

"In consultation with the Ministries of Transport and Aviation and the leadership of transport operators, Government has taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector, and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses. The wearing of masks in vehicles and aircrafts, and the maintenance of enhanced hygiene protocols, remain mandatory."

The President also announced ''the reopening of our nation’s tourist sites and attractions, so they can begin to receive visitors. Open-air drinking spots can now function. The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols. Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice," he said.

But Nana Ofori Owusu believes the President's phase two of easing the public restrictions is a wrong move.

Accordong to him, the charge that Ghanaians should learn to live with the disease, therefore easing the restrictions, will make them relax on the COVID-19 protocols.

''We need to be very focused as a people and find out how scientifically we will deal with this menace...The living with it makes people to relax...When you consistently say that and the leadership also echoes it, then you make the population relax in a way as if this thing, after all, is like malaria. We can live with it. We cannot live it and the way the disease is emerging, we need to do more," he said.

To him, the nation can overcome the disease only when there is an attitudinal change, hence calling on the President to reconsider his decisions.

''The attitudinal mindset of the people and of leadership is critical for us to deal with this particular solution. We're always focusing on the end that someone has been infected and so we're looking for a cure but we should change the way in which we live in society," he said on Peace FM's 'kokrokoo'.

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