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Ghana coronavirus: 8297 cases; govt defends ban on football

Ghana coronavirus: 8297 cases; govt defends ban on football

Ghana is West Africa’s most impacted nation behind Nigeria, at a point in May 2020, Ghana led the regional case load. June has started with progressive lifting of more virus restrictions.

President Akufo-Addo in his tenth address announced that whiles borders remained closed, some categories of academic institutions are allowed to resume, religious places can also reopen with strict conditions and the observance of health protocols.

Social gatherings -weddings, funerals etc. – are to be allowed under certain conditions – among others with maximum 100 participants. As the 2020 polls loom, even political activity is allowed to be undertaken.

This article will be focused on tracking case increases and major developments from the West African country. It will build on our April – May 2020 updates page.

June 3: 8297 cases; govt defends ban on football
Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah has defended government’s decision to maintain a ban on football despite the recent lifting of a raft of restrictions. He was speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday.

According to the Minister, the cost of putting necessary measures in place, from the regular disinfection of stadia to testing players, was too high. Restrictions on non-contact sports were lifted in the president’s 10th address.

“How do we disinfect all the stadia, the hotels because the players sleep there? How do we test all these players?” Asiamah quizzed.

He also pointed out that it would be near impossible to keep fans from gathering during games. “In our environment, is it possible to play football without our supporters? The figure that came out from the NSA was about GHS 60,000 per match. That’s a major challenge.”

Football is Ghana’s most followed sport. The local league only returned after a corruption probe involving the former association president Kwesi Nyantakyi caused the league to be suspended. A normalization committee took charge of affairs till a new set of executives were voted into office.

Total confirmed cases = 8,297
Total recoveries = 2,986
Total deaths = 38
Active cases = 5,273

June 2: Minister issues guidelines for churches, mosques
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, has expanded on a government plan for reopening of places of worship across the country.

He was speaking at a multi-sectoral press briefing on Monday, a day after the president delivered his tenth COVID-19 address to the nation. Some of the key planks of the directives include:

As part of the guidelines, every church or religious body is to registered with the Registrar General’s Department and with the respective Municipal, Metropolitan or District Assembly.
The religious bodies are expected to observe preventive protocols, including providing thermometer guns or thermal scanners to check the temperature of congregants at entry points of all venues
Enforce a ‘No mask: No entry’ Policy, provide adequate waste management facilities and toilet facilities for use by members.
Cleaning and disinfection of frequently used communal places like toilet surfaces and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs or handles, preferably every one – two hours depending on the rate of utilisation.
A holding room or area where a person who becomes sick at the premises can be isolated from others while making arrangements for evacuation.
Every worshiper must be registered with their details, including names, phone numbers, manually or digitally, adding that digital registration can be done on GH COVID-19 APP or the PANABIOS App, which can be downloaded at no cost.
Religious leaders would equally be held liable, adding that the District Assemblies and other agencies will monitor and ensure compliance with the directives.
Religious activities were thus to begin on Friday, June 5, with Muslims worshiping at the mosques, and Adventists and Christians following on Saturday Sunday, respectively.

Govt to close down religious institutions who flout anti-Covid-19 directives – GNA report

June 1: 8,070 cases, conditional lifting of most restrictions
Ghana’s case load passed the 8,000 mark on last day of May 2020 as president Akufo-Addo addressed the nation lifting conditionally a raft of restrictions.

Schools are to open in mid-June, religious places can reopen with strict conditions and the observance of health protocols. Social gatherings are to be allowed under certain conditions.

The address, the tenth by the president, also spelled out measures that government was putting in place to curb the spread of the virus. “Consensus from stakeholder consultation recommend a phased approach to easing anti Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.

With effect from Friday 5th June, Ghana will begin the implementation of gradual easing of restrictions
Final year university students to report to school on 15th June, 2020
Faith-based organisations to start communal worship, effective Friday, June 5, amid social distancing and hygiene protocols
All schools, both private and public remain closed. Only final year students access those facilities.
Each student, teacher and non teaching staff will be provided with reusable face mask by the Ministry of Education prior to reopening for final year students
Weddings with not more than 100 guests can be organized
Public political activities, except for rallies, to resume with less than 100 people, amid observation of social distancing and hygiene protocols
218, 425 Covid-19 tests conducted so far
Total confirmed cases = 8,070 (new cases = 189)
Total recoveries = 2,947
Total deaths = 36
Active cases = 5,087

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