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No decision has been taken on when public gatherings can resume – Akufo-Addo

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The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says a decision on when restrictions on public gatherings – put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus – to be lifted, is yet to be taken.

He said a lot of information has been gathered on the geographical footprint of the virus, which has influenced the manner in which Ghana has handled the outbreak but relaxing the public gatherings restrictions is undecided at the moment.

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“We have not taken a decision on when public gathering can resume,” President Akufo-Addo said when he addressed a webinar series by Africa.com.

President Akufo-Addo has been praised for the manner in which he has handled the outbreak of Covdi-19 in Ghana.

The country, as of April 28, 2020, has 1,671 confirmed cases of respiratory infection, 188 recoveries, and 16 deaths.

Measures, including a partial lockdown of the four hotspots of the outbreak – Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Kasoa – have been lifted. However, a ban on public gatherings and social distancing has been extended for another two weeks.

President Akufo-Addo believes, an extension is necessary and admonished the public to adhere to the directive, if the country’s current progress is to be improved.

Addressing the over 3,000 participants who tuned into the webinar, the President said, Ghana’s borders, which have been closed to prevent the influx of foreigners carrying the disease into the country, will remain closed.

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“…that is a measure we are not about to undo anytime from now,” he stressed.

The overall picture, President Akufo-Addo noted, is that the rate of infection has remained relatively constant.

With a positivity rate of 1.58 percent, he indicated that “we are not seeing this large explosion that was feared for our country at the beginning and therefore, the ability to manage those who have been affected is much more within our means.”

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Despite this, President Akufo-Addo said the government is making a significant preparation and investment in the public health system, not just for Covid-19 but also enables it to cater to the country’s health needs as a whole.

Also, measures are being put in place to boost Ghana’s domestic production to wean the country off heavy dependence on the importation, President Akufo-Addo said.

Speaking to the theme of the conference, ‘This isn’t the West – How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to Covid-19’, President Akufo-Addo said the attention of his government has been to adopt a Ghana-focused approach in dealing with the disease.

He said, although tackling the virus has been a difficult and expensive venture, “we have said that as much as possible, we should look at the Ghanaian first.”

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