President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced lifting of the restriction of movements imposed on Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa three weeks ago.
Other precautionary protocols, he said, will however continue to be in place as the state pursues its efforts to stem out the tide of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In his 7th televised address to the nation the President said,” In view of our 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, our better understanding of the dynamism of the virus, the ramping up of our 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, I have taken the decision to lift the three-week-old restriction on movements in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kasoa, and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and its contiguous districts, with effect from 1:00 am on Monday, 20th April.”
He however warned the lifting of this restriction does mean government is letting its guard down and that 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. 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,” he stated.
The three-week lockdown was implemented to give government the opportunity to contain the spread of the virus, scale-up contact-tracing, test and quarantine those who tested positive.
The initial two-week restrictions were extended by seven days as the nation waited for test results from some 14,000 samples taken.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana has received the test results of some 68,591 contacts, and that majority of tests being undertaken over the last 3 weeks indicate 1,042 persons, i.e. 1.5%, have been confirmed positive, with 67,549, i.e. 98.5%, testing negative.
99 persons, he said, have recovered and have been discharged while the 930 persons, who have been isolated, are responding to treatment either in their homes or in treatment facilities.