Presidency clarifies category of Executive Members exempted from lockdown restrictions

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A statement from the Presidency has clarified the category of members of the executive arm of government exempted from the restrictions imposed on some parts of the country as parts of drastic efforts to contain the Coronavirus outbreak in Ghana.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday evening declared a partial lockdown of Accra, Tema and Kumasi effective 1am on Monday, March 30, 2020 to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease.

Announcing that the country has recorded 137 confirmed cases with 4 deaths, the president said: “Prevailing circumstances mean that stricter measures have to be put in place to contain and halt the spread of the virus within our country, especially in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, which have been identified by the Ghana Health Service as the ‘hotspots’ of the infections.

“In doing this, we cannot afford to copy blindly, and do all the things some other well-developed countries are doing. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this pandemic. We have a unique situation in our country, and we must take it into account in dealing with the disease, whilst meeting all the six (6) key WHO guidelines on the most effective ways of combating the pandemic. Even though it may be said that the number of our infections is still, relatively, low, if we act now purposefully, we have a chance of preventing an escalation of our numbers.”

Some services, including members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties; staff of electricity, water, telecommunications, e-commerce and digital service providers; members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages; staff of VALCO were however exempted from the restrictions.

A statement issued on March 29, 2020, and signed by Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare mentioned that members of the executive arm of government the President referred to include Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Senior Staffers and Special Assistants.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Members of the Executive refers to; Hon. Ministers, Deputy Ministers of State, Senior Staffers at the Presidency and Special Assistants. All other Members of the Public Service are to comply with the circular issued by the Public Services Commission with reference No. AB 296/349/01 dated 23rd March, 2020 which is aimed at reducing the number of staff working at the same time while ensuring the continuous delivery of core services as mandated,” the statement read.

Ghana’s coronavirus case count is now 141 with 5 deaths.

Details as reported by the Ghana Health Service

As of 14:00 hours on the 28th March 2020, a total of 2,519 persons have been tested for COVID-19 in Ghana. Among the tested, 1,276 (50.7%) were persons under mandatory quarantine with 1,243 (49.3%) from routine surveillance activities. Among all 2,519 persons tested, one hundred and forty-one (141) tested positive representing 5.6%.

Among persons under mandatory quarantine, 79 representing 6.2% tested positive. Among samples tested from routine surveillance, sixty-two (62) representing 5.0% tested positive.

Only three regions have so far reported cases- the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Upper West Regions from routine disease surveillance. One case has been confirmed in the Upper West Region. The Ashanti Region has recorded 7 of the 8 cases recorded outside the Greater Accra Region. All other 54 cases from routine surveillance were recorded in the Greater Accra Region.

A total of 731 contacts of confirmed cases are currently being followed up by the contact tracing team. Among contacts, 53 were found to have symptoms and 48 have been tested with one person testing positive.

Two hundred and thirty-one contacts have completed the mandatory 14-day follow-up.

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