President Akufo-Addo made a shocking disclosure that eight of those infested by the deadly Coronavirus which have killed thousands across the world, are being treated from their private homes, and are doing well.
So far, 21 cases have been recorded with one death, according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS). The death, the President said occurred because the victim, whom many have said is a male Lebanese national resident in Ghana, had some underlining medical conditions. He failed to mention whether he died at home or in a recognized hospital and what the burial plans are.
The President, did not also give details of how the eight are being treated in their homes, who is doing the treatment and how they are being monitored to prevent them from spreading the life-threatening condition, although urging Ghanaians to respect the World Health Organization’s (WHO) protocols in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus.
The President did not also explained why some people are being treated from their homes, as well as which parts of the country the other victims were being treated.
What this means is that the country’s health officials with the endorsement from the Presidency, are not evacuating people living with the disease from the communities, but have allowed them to stay put, despite the risk this arrangement poses to the victims families and other love ones some of whom have coincidentally, been urged to stay at home to avoid catching the virus.
Interestingly, countries like China, the United States, Spain, South Korea and many others, are moving their citizens to dedicated health facilities, putting them under strict supervision and medical treatment using specialized equipment, including ventilators to aid them breath properly.
In his third televised speech since the outbreak of the virus, the President, on Saturday urged Ghanaians to avoid what he described as “unnecessary body contact and stop shaking hands” to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
While urging Ghanaians to seek the face of God as the pandemic spread across the globe, he applauded the effort of the Ghanaian legislature for the speedy passage of the Imposition of Restrictions.
The passage gave the president further powers to impose restrictions on the movement of people to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
He further urged the pharmaceutical companies to scale up domestic production of pharmaceutical products such as hand sanitizers to help halt the spread.
The President announced that plans have been made to procure additional 50,000 testing kits to augment the fight against the spread, adding some retired health experts are also making themselves available for engagement to help fight the global pandemic.
He also announced that Ghana was closing all its borders from midnight on Sunday, March 22, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The border closure is to last for two weeks according to President Akufo-Addo, but “will not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.”
“All our borders; by land, sea and air, will be closed to human traffic for the next two weeks beginning midnight on Sunday,” he said in an address to the Nation on Saturday evening.
The president, said the government’s aim with all its measures are to “limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.”
Following restrictions from recently reviewed travel protocols, the only admissible travellers into Ghana, were Ghanaians and foreign nationals with residence permits in Ghana. But ahead of the closure, this category of travellers will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine.
Ghana announced new travel protocols when the detected cases stood at seven.
Travellers who had been in coronavirus-hit countries with cases exceeding 200 within the 14 days preceding their arrival were to be barred from entering the country.
The admissible travellers who exhibit symptoms of the virus are to be quarantined and tested upon reaching Ghana.
The government said airlines had been instructed not to allow such persons into the country.
It also said travel to Ghana was strongly discouraged.
Shortly after the broadcast, Ghana confirmed its 21 case .
More than 303,000 people have been infected worldwide with over 13,000 deaths.
President Akufo-Addo has declared Wednesday 25, March 2020, a national day for fasting and prayers for the country.
Find below the full statement by the President
Fellow Ghanaians, good evening. This is the third time in the last ten (10) days that I have come into your homes to give you an update on the progress of our fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. I am going to be providing you regular updates.
On Sunday, 15th March, I briefed you about the enhanced measures taken by Government to deal with the virus, which has, so far, infected nineteen persons (19) in the country. Unfortunately, one (1) person, who tested positive for the virus, but had serious underlying health complications, passed away in the early hours of today. I am reliably informed that all the other eighteen (18) persons are doing well, and are responding to treatment. Indeed, eight (8) of them are being managed from their homes, in isolation.
I am deeply humbled by the widespread nature of the support from you, the Ghanaian people, for the measures I have taken so far. Let me also commend both sides of Parliament for the expeditious and responsible manner in which they handled the passage of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, to which I have given assent.
This morning, I chaired the daily Inter-Ministerial Committee Meeting on our Coronavirus Response to review the current position. I am encouraged by the numbers of Ghanaians that are observing the prescribed social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols announced earlier. However, it has become necessary to take additional measures to stem the spread of the virus, and protect the lives of our people. We must do everything within our power to contain the spread of the virus.
Firstly, all our borders, that is by land, sea and air, will be closed to human traffic for the next two weeks, beginning midnight on Sunday. Anybody who comes into the country, before midnight on Sunday, will be mandatorily quarantined and tested for the virus. This closure will not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.
Secondly, the Ministry of Health will not only step up its contact tracing efforts, but will also see to it that all persons who have been identified as having come into contact with infected persons are tested for the virus. More personal protection equipment are being procured to beef up supplies for our frontline health workers. Fifty thousand additional test kits have been ordered, and are expected in the country very shortly.
Thirdly, the Ministry of Health is mobilising new and retired healthcare professionals to augment our preparedness in dealing with a possible surge in infections. It is heartening to hear of the numbers of retired healthcare professionals who have stepped forward to offer their services, just as it is to note the Ghanaian entrepreneurs who have responded to this crisis by producing greater quantities of sanitisers and ‘Veronica buckets’. Let me reiterate my appeal to members of the pharmaceutical industry to scale up their domestic production of pharmaceutical products. Government will do its best to support them.
As I have stated before, there will be a constant review of the measures announced, and, if necessary, enhanced.
Fellow Ghanaians, the cases of localised infections require that we maintain strict self-discipline, and continue to practice prescribed social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols in all aspects of our daily lives. We must wash our hands regularly, use alcohol-based sanitisers, stop shaking hands, and avoid unnecessary close body contact. I am pleading with each and every one of you, comply with these measures. Our survival is in our own hands.
Whilst we continue to adhere to these measures, and ramp up our efforts to defeat this virus, I urge all of us, also, to seek the face of the Almighty. So, on Wednesday, 25th March, 2020, I appeal to all Ghanaians, Christians and Muslims, to observe a national day of fasting and prayer. Let us pray to God to protect our nation and save us from this pandemic. I thank the men and women of God who prayed for the nation with me on Thursday, and with the Vice President on Friday, for their intervention.
I applaud the efforts and courage of Ghanaians in the forefront of the fight against the virus – health workers, immigration officials, customs officials, civil aviation officials, airport staff, port health officials, police and military personnel, and other essential service providers – for the yeoman’s work you are doing. Our nation is deeply in your debt.
Fellow Ghanaians, all that Government is doing is intended to achieve five (5) key objectives – limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.
There are obvious difficulties ahead of us, and we should all brace ourselves to face them. I will be transparent with you, and not shirk from sharing with you the realities of our situation. But, I am determined to take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard our society, our economy and our future. I remain confident that together, and by the Grace of God, we shall overcome. This, too, will pass.
May God bless us all, and our homeland Ghana, and make us great and strong.
Have a good night, and I thank you for your attention.