These are 14 facts and summaries drawn from the president’s address:
- First case of COVID-19 in Ghana was recorded on 12th March 2020, by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra.
- Government is considering full reopening of schools, after the mid-September examination for Senior High Schools.
- From April to June, Government gave additional allowances to our healthcare workers, ensured free access to water for all households across the country, fully absorbed electricity bills for one million active lifeline customers, and granted a fifty percent (50%) subsidy on electricity bills of all other customers, using the March 2020 bill as the benchmark.
- Six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million) is being disbursed to support micro, small and medium scale enterprises, which have been affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme.
- Government is also extending free electricity supply to lifeline tariff customers until the end of the year.
- The Communication Service Tax has also been reduced from 9 percent to 5 percent, effective September 2020.
- 32,969 people have so far contracted the virus, 29,494 have recovered and 168 deaths were recorded as at 26th July 2020. This means the recovery rate has improved from 75%, a month ago, to 89.46%.
- Overall death rate, at 26th July 2020, is 0.5%.
- one hundred (100) bed Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre at the Ga East Municipal Hospital, which was completed with the Public fund.
- Religious institutions been opened for prayers and services for the past seven (7) weeks, adhering to twenty-five per cent occupancy (25%) or up to one hundred congregants over a time duration of up to 2 hour per service. Well, the duration of service is expected to increase to 2 hours per service, effective from 1st August 2020. The restrictions on the number of congregants worshipping at a time will also be lifted.
- The president announced that the nation’s tourist sites and attractions are reopened, and they can begin to receive visitors. Open air drinking spots can now function. However, Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs remains close until further notice.
- Female Under-20 and Under-17 national football teams have been given the clearance to go into their respective training camps to begin preparations towards their FIFA and CAF-sanctioned international matches, which begin in September. All other team and contact sports, and competitive sporting events remain suspended till further notice.
- 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. Private burials, still, with a maximum of one hundred (100) persons, can continue to be performed.
- National borders, by air, land and sea, remain closed until further notice for human traffic. However, given that there are Ghana residents stranded abroad, special dispensation will continue to be given for the evacuation of our nationals and residents back to Ghana, where they will be subjected to the mandatory quarantine and safety protocols.
Despite all the plans, we admonish everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 safety measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
Story by Sarfo Senior