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General News of Monday, 27 July 2020


Why govt eased restrictions on religious activities, commercial vehicles, others

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah’s has given reasons for government’s decision to ease restrictions which were initially imposed on religious activities, public transports among others.

In his fourteenth address on the coronavirus pandemic delivered on Sunday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that commercial vehicles can now operate at full capacity.

The restrictions on the number of congregants in churches and mosques were also removed albeit strict adherence to social distancing protocols.

According to him, it has been established that with the wearing of masks, use of sanitizers and other protocols, the risk of transmission in public transports is extremely low.

He, however, clarified that the decision to make churches adhere to the one-metre social distancing rule is because with the dancing and singing, the chances of droplets being passed on to people is relatively high.

“The taskforce and team of advisors advised that with the wearing of masks and observation of the all other preventing etiquettes, the risk level of public transport is low that’s why they can allow full occupancy while observing the other protocols,” he noted.

Following the announcement, questions have been raised over why the government would open up churches and leave out the beaches and night clubs.

But Oppong Nkrumah explains that the outcome of the decision to further relax restrictions on churches and public transport will inform the government's decision to open up beaches or otherwise.

“We continue to observe the partial easing to draw lessons and use them for further easing in the future so not everything has been has been eased now so that they can be more studying of what has been eased so far and its implications and that can be used for the opening up of beaches and night clubs when we get there,” he said.

Oppong Nkrumah charged the leadership of the religious institutions to ensure that the preventive measures are adhered to by their members.

“There are three levels of enforcement. There’s what the president calls personal responsibility of the leadership of all these churches. Religious bodies are one of the well-organized places and the first level of responsibility is for the person to ensure that there’s an observation of all of these etiquettes that have been put in. Local law enforcement agencies have also been asked to keep an eye on them,” he said.

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