Wedding/funeral receptions banned – Akufo-Addo revises COVID protocols
President Nana Akufo-Addo has introduced a ban on all wedding and funeral receptions following a rise in COVID-19 infections due to the spread of the Delta variant.
Additionally, funeral ceremonies are to be organised within a two hour period with strict adherence to the new protocols.
Addressing Ghanaians on strategies put in place to reduce the rising COVID-19 cases in the country in his 26th update, the President said:
“The COVID-19 Taskforce, which I chair, has recommended that a second look be taken at the protocols that have been put in place for social and public gatherings, in particular, weddings and funerals across the country.
“I have, in previous updates, emphasised the need for the strict observance of safety protocols at all such gatherings”.
To ensure that such gatherings do not become the sources of infections, the following must be adhered to by all at these gatherings.
- The wearing of masks continues to be mandatory and persons must respect all hygiene protocols.
- All such events must be held in open-air spaces;
- The duration of such events is limited to two hours
- there must be observance of the one (1) metre social distancing rule by sympathisers;
- Handshakes must be avoided.
“Furthermore, 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,” he reiterated.
However, “protocols surrounding activities in churches and mosques remain the same, as are protocols in schools”.
In June 2021, Ghana’s active cases were 1,200 with a daily infection rate of 50 cases. Ten deaths were recorded within the month.
However, in recent weeks, the country has seen a marked increase in the number of cases.
“As at Friday, 23rd July 2021, three (3) weeks later, the Ghana Health Service is now reporting that our total number of active cases stands at four thousand, five hundred and twenty-one (4,521).
“A total of one million, four hundred and six thousand, and eleven (1,406,011) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and two thousand, one hundred and three (102,103) persons have been infected with the virus, and ninety-six thousand, seven hundred and fifty-nine (96,759) persons have recovered. Our daily infection rate for the past week is three hundred and fifty (350) cases, and, sadly, forty (40) more people have died from COVID over the last ten (10) weeks, bringing the cumulative number of deaths to eight hundred and twenty-three (823) since the onset of the pandemic.
“Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remain the hotspots of infections.
“This entire development is very alarming,” President Akufo-Addo expressed worry.
President Akufo-Addo said it was obvious from the data that “we have let our guard down, with many going about their daily duties in clear breach of and disregard for the protocols”.
“At a time when the economy is on the rebound, and business activities picking up, we must do everything possible to contain this outbreak. We cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, which brought considerable hardships and difficulties for all of us”.
The latest trend has raised concerns by various health authorities who have demanded drastic measures to curtail an escalation.
The Ashanti and Bono regional directorates of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have expressed worry about the astronomical increase in cases in their regions.
The government has therefore urged the public to strictly comply with the COVID-19 preventive protocols and indicated that it is working to secure more vaccines to continue the vaccination programme towards the target of 20million Ghanaians.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), has equally raised an alarm particularly due to the more aggressive nature of the Delta variant compared to the others.
The Association says it fears that the country’s health system will not be able to accommodate the rising cases if the trend continues.