Go back to shift system – President Akufo-Addo urges businesses

President Akufo-Addo has asked businesses to revert to a shift system at their various workplaces, as a renewed effort in containing the fast spread of the COVID-19 through the Delta variant.

In addition, the president has entreated management of businesses to resort to the use of technology at their workplaces.

The president said this during his regular televised updates on Ghana’s enhanced response to the coronavirus pandemic, On Sunday, July 25, 2021.

By this directive, businesses would be reverting to the ‘work from home’ system, which many companies introduced at the peak of the pandemic last year.

The president said that amid the current resurgence in COVID-19 infections, at workplaces, it is important to implement strictly the guidelines on staff management and workplace protocols.

He, therefore, urged business managers to resort to measures “such as the use of a shift system and technology, mask-wearing, social distancing and hygiene protocols, as was required in the earlier days of the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, restrictions at weddings and funeral receptions have been reintroduced as the country continues to contain the rise in COVID-19 infections.

As such, funeral ceremonies are also to be organised within a two-hour period, while observing the one-metre social distancing rule by sympathisers, and avoid handshakes.

The president said, “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.”

For commercial vehicles, President Akufo-Addo reiterated that “mask-wearing in commercial vehicles and in marketplaces continue to be mandatory.”

“We cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, which brought considerable hardships and difficulties for all of us,” he added.

READ ALSO: Govt Invests $25m Into Local COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccine procurement

In stepping up efforts to fight against the spread of the COVID-19, the president announced that about 18.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be in the country by the end of September.

This, he said, was to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of 2021.

“We are expecting, through the COVAX facility and the African Union, 1,229,670 doses of the Pfizer vaccines from the government of the United States of America, and 249,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from the government of the United Kingdom.

The government is also in the process of procuring 17 million single doses per person Johnson & Johnson vaccines, through the African Medicine Supply Platform, in this quarter,” he said.

So far, 1,271,393 vaccine doses have been administered, with 865,422 persons having received a single jab, and 405,971 persons have received their full dose of two jabs.

Production of local vaccines

Regarding vaccines production, Mr Akufo-Addo, said, the government is investing $25 million into local production to augment the once being received outside.

The move is as a result of the global shortage of the vaccine, coupled with the challenges in the supply chain, which has left many African countries struggle to secure vaccines, of which Ghana is not exempted.

He explained that the committee established to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine-manufacturing hub, to meet national and regional needs, recommended the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute.

Therefore, “the Government has committed to injecting seed funding of some US$25 million this year into this whole enterprise,” Mr Akufo-Addo.

In the short term, the Frimpong-Boateng committee is facilitating the capacity of domestic pharmaceutical companies to fill and finish COVID-19 vaccines.

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