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Ghana lifts ban on social gatherings

Ghana lifts ban on social gatherings
June 01
08:41 2020
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Ghanaian President Nana Akufu-Addo has lifted the ban on social gatherings such as weddings in his country.

But he said only 100 people should be at any social gathering.

In a national broadcast on Sunday, Akufu-Addo said the minister of religious affairs would issue “specific guidelines” for safe reopening of the places of worship.

So far, Ghana has recorded 8,070 COVID-19 cases. While 2,947 patients have recovered from the disease, 36 have died from it.

Ghana lifted its lockdown that lasted for three weeks on April 20. The country is the first in Africa to do so.

The president fixed June 15, 22 and 29 as dates final year students of universities, senior high school and junior high students will resume respectively.

“Religious institutions that are desirous of opening their premises to their members, such as churches, mosques and others, must disinfect, fumigate and put in place the requisite logistics needed to guarantee safe opening and operation,” he said.

“They must work with the designated, regulatory bodies and undertake test runs of the protocols I have outlined. I would appeal to them, in the case of Christians, on the first Sunday of re-opening, i.e. 7th June, in the case of the Adventists, Saturday, 6th June, and in the case of Muslims, on the first Friday, i.e. Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah on 5th June, to dedicate their worship to prayers for the nation in these challenging times.

“The minister for religious affairs, will, tomorrow, Monday, 1st June, outline, in detail, the specific guidelines for the safe reopening of our churches and mosques.

“Final year university students are to report to their universities on 15th June; final year senior high school (SHS 3) students, together with SHS 2 Gold Track students, on 22nd June; and final year junior high school (JHS 3) students on 29th June.”

The president said not more than 100 people should be at weddings, workshops, and other ceremonies.

“Restaurants, providing seated services, can operate under appropriate social distancing arrangements and hygiene protocols. Individual, non-contact sports can go ahead. Conferences, workshops, weddings, and political activities, except rallies, can now take place, but with limited numbers not exceeding one hundred (100) persons present, with the appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols,” he said.

“Market places, work places, public transport, and constitutional and statutory bodies such as the Electoral Commission, the National Commission for Civic Education and the National Identification Authority, whose activities were exempted from the outset from these restrictions, must conduct their activities in accordance with social distancing and the necessary hygiene and safety protocols.”

Nana Akufu-Addo said nightclubs, cinemas, bars and beaches remain closed.

“Our border, by air, land and sea, remains closed until further notice for human traffic,” the president said.

“However, given that there are Ghana residents stranded abroad, special dispensation is going to be given for their evacuation back to Ghana, where they will be subjected to the mandatory quarantine and safety protocols.”

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