- 72-year old President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has returned from a two-week quarantine over COVID-19 scare
Ghana has announced further lifting of restrictions on Churches and Mosques as well as an extension of free water supply to all citizens and free electricity to lifeline customers in the country till end of the year.
President Nana Akufo-Addo who just returned from a two-week quarantine over COVID-19 scare made this announcement in an address to the nation on Sunday. He declared that the length of worship at Churches has also been extended from one (1) to two (2) hours per service with effect from Saturday, August 1, 2020.
“Government was able to feed thousands of our people during the period of the lockdown. 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,” he said.
Through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme, according to him, 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.
“It bears repeating that some of these incentive packages have been extended for the next three months. In my thirteenth (13th) update to the nation, I announced the extension of incentive packages for health workers by another three (3) months, i.e. July, August and September.
“In the Finance Minister’s mid-year budget review, he, again, announced that all Ghanaians are to enjoy free water supply for another three months. I intend to have it reviewed at the end of the period. Government is also extending free electricity supply to lifeline tariff customers until the end of the year,” he declared.
On his return from quarantine, he said; “I am happy that I have the opportunity this evening to engage with you, again, in your homes. I want, at the outset, to thank all of you for your prayers and expressions of good wishes when doctors advised me to go into quarantine for two (2) weeks. God being so good, I am back again at work. I thank you very much for your concern.
“It has been a month since I came to provide you an update on the measures being taken by my Government to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.”
He continued; “Our Churches and Mosques have been open 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 one hour per service. I extend my deepest appreciation to our religious leaders for their strict adherence to the safety protocols, which have prevented any known outbreaks, since they restarted their services.
“I have sorely missed going to Church, as I am sure many others have. I am, therefore, very happy to announce that, in consultation with our Church leaders, from 1st August, 2020, the restrictions on the number of congregants worshipping at a time in Church will be lifted, with the length of worship extended from one (1) to two (2) hours per service.
“Church leaders, who are desirous of implementing this enhanced easing directive, must ensure that congregants wear face masks at all times, and the one (1) metre social distancing rule is scrupulously applied.
“These same guidelines apply to worship in our Mosques. With greater numbers of congregants likely to return for worship, I would, respectfully, ask the religious leaders to pay even greater attention to the fresh air ventilation of their premises, rather than relying on the use of air conditioners.”