Nana Addo addresses the 13th time in relation to the precutionary measurs in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. These are thoughts and regulations ushered by the president.

From tomorrow, Monday 29th June 2020, final year students in 17,439 schools across the country will return to school to prepare for their Basic Education Certificate Examination [ B.E.C.E ]. They will be final and indeed the largest batch of students to return to school.

In all, we are expecting some 750,000 persons comprising 532,000 JHS 3 students and 218,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and invigilators to be involved in tomorrow’s exercise. Like Senior High Schools, universities and other Tertiary institutions , all Junior high schools across the country have been fumigated and disinfected.

Additionally, we have procured and distributed 45,000 Veronica buckets, 90,000 gallons of liquid soap, 90,000 rolls of tissue paper, 40,000 thermometer guns, 750,000 pieces of 200mils sanitizers and 2.2 million reusable face-masks i.e three per person all with the intent of guaranteeing the safety of the students, teaching and non-teaching staffs.

JHS 3 will be in school for 11 weeks of preparation and revision for their one week BECE [ making 12 weeks]. There will be no more than 30 students in a class and there will be a reduced school day  with students reporting to school at 9am and closing at 1pm.

No breaks outside the classrooms will be permitted, assemblies and sporting events are banned and the use by the outsiders of school premises for religious and other activities will not be allowed. As is the case for other educational institutions, each basic school has been mapped to a heath facility and care will be provided to the sick on these health facilities by nurses assigned to these schools.

As at Saturday 27th June, 2020, our country has recorded:

  • 17,351 confirmed cases
  • 12,994 recoveries, representing some 75% of positive
  • 4,245 active cases
  • 294,867 tests one of the highest on the continent
  • 30 persons are severely and critically ill
  • 112 sad deaths, constituting 0.6% of positives as we maintain one of the lowest death rates in the world.

The Ghana Health Service has reported that most of the patients that has been lost to the virus died either on arrival at the hospital or within 48 hours after arrival. Unfortunately, we still have some person in the country who are not taking the associated with the diseases seriously and therefore do not seek medical help as soon as they have symptoms that suggests an infection of the virus.

There should be no fear of stigmatization or embarrassment with being diagnosed with COVID-19. So please when you begin to experience such as fever, persistent cough, body pains, loss of taste and smell and difficulty in breathing, seek immediate medical attention at the nearest health facility.

Most patients who are critically ill and need intensive care, do survive the virus if they seek medical help promptly. E.g out of 53 patients admitted into intensive care units [ ICU ]at the Ga East Municipal Hospital and the university of Ghana Medical Center since the pandemic struck, 44 i.e 83% have fully recovered and have been discharged.

I am happy to announce that l have decided to extend the incentive package for health workers by another 3 months. That means no health workers will pay no income task for the next 3 months. Again all frontline heath workers, as defined by the Ministry of Health will continue to receive the additional allowance of 50% of their basic salary per month i.e for July, August and September.

I know the implementation of this directive for the months April, May and June has been fraught with some challenges  caused by mainly by the protracted discussions over the definition of who qualifies as ‘frontline health workers’ in this context. I have, however been assured that they have been resolved and payments will be effected from the end of June. I should reiterate that the insurance package for health workers is still place.

I have been encouraged by how our reigiys leaders are have supported and embarce the fight agaisnt COVID-19 despite their concerns woith some elemsys of the presicribed safty measuers. I will continue to engage with them and other stakeholders in our fforts to defeat the virus.

Let us all be reminded, in our daily routines, that adhering to the enhanced social distancing and hygiene protocols will not only save our lives, but also prevent our healthcare infrastructure from being over-burdened. Let us wash our hands with soap under running water, use alcohol-based sanitizers, maintain the protocols on social distancing, avoid person to person contact, eat our local foods that boost our immune systems, and, yes, wear masks at all times when we leave our homes. These are the weapons of our battle.

We must keep our guard up at all times, and see to it that sooner, rather than later, COVID-19 becomes nothing but a blip on our forward march to sustained development, progress, and prosperity.

I have been very encouraged by how our religious leaders have supported and embraced the fight against COVID-19, despite their concerns with some elements of the prescribed safety protocols and guidelines. I will continue to engage with them and other stakeholders, in our efforts to defeat the virus.

Fellow Ghanaians, as we cross the halfway point of 2020, arguably one of the most difficult years in recent memory, I continue to feel a sense of gratitude, determination and faith. Gratitude towards you, the Ghanaian people, who have shown such extraordinary grace and selflessness throughout this difficult period.

Determination in my work for all of you, bringing Ghana through this crisis and beyond, and making sure we come out of this stronger than ever before; and Faith in the One true God who orders our every step.

This too shall pass! For the Battle is the Lord’s, and, with Him by our side, we fear nothing but His judgment, and need nothing but His Grace. May God bless us all, and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.

I thank you for your attention.

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