The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reinforced the ban on all post-event receptions and restricted all mass gatherings to two hours.
Delivering his 26th Address to update the nation on the COVID-19 situation in the country yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said the decision was to ensure that social gatherings did not become the sources of infection.
“Given that people sitting together to eat, drink, laugh, dance and talk in large gatherings, without masks, are the riskiest activities for spreading the virus, all post-event receptions, particularly related to weddings and funerals, are banned.”
Consequently, he has re-emphasized that all social events and gatherings must now be held in open air spaces and within two hours; seating must be with a meter distance while wearing of face masks in public as well as on commercial vehicles and in market places continue to be mandatory.
The ban, which comes into effect immediately, is the latest intervention by the government to deal with the resurgence of the virus in the country.
Giving statistics on the virus in Ghana, the President noted:
“The Ghana Health Services is now reporting that our total number of active cases stands at four thousand and ninety-four (4,094). A total of one million, three hundred and ninety-four thousand, five hundred and forty (1,394,540) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and one thousand, one hundred and seventy (101,170) persons have been infected with the virus, and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and fifty-five (96,255) persons have recovered.
“ Our daily infection rate for the past week is 350 cases, and, sadly, 40 more people have died from COVID-19 over the last 10 weeks, bringing the cumulative number of deaths to 823 since the onset of the pandemic. Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remain the hotspots of infections.
“This entire development is very alarming.
“Therefore, the COVID-19 Taskforce, which I chair, has recommended that a second look be taken at the protocols that have been put in place for social and public gatherings, in particular, weddings and funerals, across the country,” he stressed.
The increased infections, the President explained, had been propelled by the Delta variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), has increased transmissibility rates.
President Akufo-Addo blamed the situation on the disregard for the prescribed protocols, emphasizing that “we have let our guard down with many going about their daily duties in clear breach of and disregard for the protocols.”
He said at a time the economy was on the rebound, and business activities picking up, it was incumbent on all to do everything possible to contain the outbreak.
“ We cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, which brought considerable hardships and difficulties for all of us,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He, therefore, stressed the need for businesses and management of workplaces to revisit the plan of staff management and strict enforcement of the protocols as workplaces had also been affected by the resurgence.
“With workplaces currently witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, it is important that owners and management of businesses and workplaces implement strictly the guidelines on staff management and workplace protocols such as the use of a shift system and technology, as was required in the earlier days of the pandemic,” he said.
The President also reiterated that all the protocols surrounding all religious activities such as at churches and mosques remained the same, as well as the protocols in schools.