Ghana’s president appeals to Ghanaians to celebrate Easter apart

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday urged Ghanaians to celebrate the Easter holidays apart, stay at home and curtail all manner of celebrations, to halt the spread of COVID-19.

He said just like Jesus Christ paid the price for the salvation of mankind on the cross of Calvary, the season should be leveraged as “a good opportunity for all of us to reflect on that ultimate sacrifice and also to make a sacrifice for the sake of humanity’s survival”

In a national broadcast to give an update on the progress on measures being adopted to contain and minimize the spread of the coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo urged that all stayed at home during the important religious festival because the times were not ordinary.

With many looking accustomed to attending conventions, making merry, visiting friends and family and having a good time during Easter, the President said, “I am urging all of us to do the exact opposite of what we have been used to for many years.”

Stay at home, keep your distance from your parents, grandparents, extended family, and celebrate this holiday apart.

“Do not hold big family gatherings, and sternly refuse to attend one if you are invited. Your relatives will understand you are doing this out of love for them…Please make that sacrifice.” He appealed.

Ghana now has 378 confirmed cases of infections. Out of that number, 105 emanated from those who were mandatorily quarantined, and 192 of the cases came from those who entered the country before the closures of borders on March 22, 2020.

Out of the 378 confirmed cases of infections, the country has recorded six deaths, four recoveries, two persons in critical conditions.

The remaining cases are mild ones, and are in isolation, either being managed at home or isolation centres.

The President in his last address to the nation on the development, indicated that next step on the fight against the disease would be determined by the outcome of the tests on over 15,000 samples taken from contacts who have been traced to other COVID-19 patients.

He disclosed that as at Wednesday, April 8, 2020, out of 14,611 contacts samples collected and tested in Accra and Kumasi for the virus, Accra returned 52 infected cases from 11,308 contacts, and Kumasi recorded 25 positive cases out of 3,303 contacts tested.

President Akufo-Addo emphasized that whilst those results was “encouraging and suggesting a limited number of positives and community spread, we expect to be able to test some 10,000 additional samples in the coming week to give us a clearer picture to enable us take a decision on the way forward”

“It appears that our common efforts have been modestly successful in containing the virus and minimizing the spread. Undoubtedly, the decisions taken from day have now proven to be effective and have saved a lot of lives”

“However this fight is not yet over…We are by no means out of the woods yet,” he said, asking Ghanaians for continued patience as we continue to implement and extend the efforts that have so far proven to be helpful.”

“It is important that we stay the course and bear the difficulties that come with it. The final results hopefully will be freedom from the virus,” he stated,

The President was not happy that some persons were flouting regulations and confronting security service personnel in some areas where the movement restriction are being enforced, saying that that behaviour would not be countenanced and “the law must be upheld and it will be upheld.”

“I take no delight in announcing these restrictions, let us remember that they have been put in place for our collective good. The fight against coronavirus has served as a humbling reminder of the things that matter, the things that cannot be bought and the things that all too often go unappreciated as part of the strides of daily life.

“I refer to the health of those we love, the freedom to congregate, the luxurious spontaneity, and the simple comfort of a handshake or a hug…these are blessings of normalcy that we are fighting to restore, blessing that we must hold on too with the deepest sense of appreciation when this pandemic has passed,” he said.