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Akufo-Addo announces partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema to curb COVID-19 spread.

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has declared a partial lockdown of Accra and Kumasi effective 1 am on Monday, March 30, 2020.

The lockdown which affects Accra, Tema and Kumasi will last for two weeks.

The decision, according to the President is to help curb the spread of COVID-19 which has led to four deaths and infected some 137 people.

President Nana Akufo-Addo made the declaration in a national address delivered on Friday, March 27, 2020.

“It is my job to protect you and I am determined to do just that. All that the government is doing is intended to achieve five 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 in deepening our self-reliance. Thus far, we have succeeded in halting any more importations of the virus into our country and I thank the overwhelming majority of you for adhering to the good hygiene and social distancing protocols announced in my first broadcast to you.

“However, 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 hot spots 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 whiles meeting all the six WHO guidelines on the most effective ways of conducting the pandemic,” the President said.

Affected areas in Greater Accra
In Greater Accra, the following areas will be affected:

  1. Accra Metropolis;
  2. Tema Metropolis;
  3. Tema West Municipality;
  4. Ledzokuku Municipality;
  5. Krowor Municipality;
  6. Adentan Municipality;
  7. Ashiaman Municipality;
  8. La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality;
  9. La-Dade-Kotopon Municipality;
  10. Okaikwei North Municipality;
  11. Ablekuma North Municipality;
  12. Ablekuma West Municipality;
  13. Ablekuma Central Municipality;
  14. Ayawaso East Municipality;
  15. Ayawaso North Municipality;
  16. Ayawaso West Municipality;
  17. Ayawaso Central Municipality
  18. Ga West Municipality;
  19. Ga North Municipality;
  20. Ga Central Municipality;
  21. Ga South Municipality;
  22. Ga East Municipality;
  23. Korle-Klottey Municipality;
  24. Weija/Gbawe Municipality;
  25. Kpone Katamanso Municipality; and
  26. Awutu Senya East Municipality.

In the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, the following areas are affected:

  1. Kumasi Metropolis;
  2. Asokwa Municipality;
  3. Suame Municipality;
  4. Old Tafo Municipality;
  5. Oforikrom Municipality;
  6. Asokore Mampong Municipality;
  7. Kwadaso Municipality;
  8. Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality;
  9. Kwabre East Municipality;
  10. Ejisu Municipality;
  11. Afigya-Kwabre South District;
  12. Bosomtwi District;
  13. Atwima Kwanwoma District; and
  14. Atwima Nwabiagya North District.

The partial lockdown according to the President, “means that everyone resident in these areas must stay at home for the next two weeks or 14 days.”

“However, if you must go out, it must only be to get essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions, or to use public toilet facilities. But, as much as possible, stay at home,” the President clarified.

The President indicated that “there shall be, during this period, no inter-city movement of vehicles and aircrafts for private or commercial purposes for the areas of the restrictive measures, except for vehicles and aircrafts providing essential services and those carrying cargo.”

Riders of motorbikes are not allowed to carry any additional person, and all intra-city passenger vehicles, such as trotros and taxis, must reduce the number of passengers in order to observe appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols.

Additionally, all commercial vehicle stations are expected to “observe appropriate hygiene protocols and social distancing.”

The President said, “the Ministry of Transport has engaged the transport operators and unions in this regard.”

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, according to the President, has also engaged with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and the leaders of the market associations in the country to make satisfactory arrangements about “the operation of the markets that ensure observance of social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols.”

“In any event, only persons involved in the food value chain can operate in the markets during this period,” the President said.

Services exempted from restrictions
Members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary;
Production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages;
Environmental and sanitation activities;
Staff of VALCO;
Road and railway construction workers;
Mining workers;
Members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties;
Staff of electricity, water, telecommunications, e-commerce and digital service providers; and
Staff of fuel stations.
Restrictions to stop COVID-19 spread
The rising cases of Coronavirus in the country heightened calls for Ghana to declare a lockdown in order to stop the spread.

Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah had earlier said various options including a lockdown were being considered by the government as a next step in tackling the outbreak.

President Nana Akufo-Addo in response to such calls said although a lockdown decision remains an option, extensive consultations will be made to ensure that any decision the government takes, will be in the right direction.

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Eddie Kay

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