In West Africa, Ghana is only second to Nigeria in covid19 infections.
As of June 9, 2020, the country exceeded the 10,000 infections number, a worrying trend given the ongoing lifting of restrictions.
Tenth presidential address
During a live televised address, President Akufo-Addo delivered a resolute message to the public.
The country's borders will remain closed, however, some academic institutions will be reopened as long as they operate under strict health guidelines. Public social gatherings such as funerals and weddings will be allowed provided they limit their participants to 100.
Of those infected, Ghana has reported 48 deaths and 3824 recoveries as of June 11. Ghana is now part of a group of countries with infections over the 10,000 mark. Other countries that make up this club are Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, and Nigeria.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) revealed how nine companies are seeking approval for their rapid testing kits.
The confirmation process took anywhere between a month or two. Incas Diagnostics is one of those companies and is based in Kumasi.
They intend to diversify the production of their pregnancy test kits that carry out antibody tests. The company also works with other African developers to create a mobile App that can trace high-risk patients. The Incas kits were produced with funding from the French Development Agency alongside the MasterCard foundation.
They will retail for a paltry $5 or donated for free.
Thus far, the lockdown has affected the troubled Ghanian economy with worker groups urging for restrictions to be lifted.
The lead representative of the Pubs and Spot Operators Association urged the government to lift the restrictions as the continued closure of their businesses adversely affected them. Their chairman, Emmanuel Antwi Baah urged the government to expand the stimulus package to its members.
The president's tenth address relaxed most restrictions on certain social gatherings i.e churches, funerals, and weddings. A report by the Bank of Ghana shows that banks have been able to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic. It indicates strong performance by the banking sector, however, there are signs of impact due to covid19 during the first quarter. The positive outlook was attributed to the resilience of the sector.
Infection of health insurance chief
Dr. Dsane-Selby, the head of the Health Insurance Authority revealed that she had contracted the covid19 virus.
The disclosure was made during a televised interview with a local network. After feeling tiredness, headaches, and body pains, she decided to take a voluntary test whose results turned out positive. She then went into self-isolation to prevent herself from exposing others to the virus. In line with health requirements, she contacted those she had been in contact with go for testing too. Thus far, four senior government officials have tested positive.
The first prominent case was Papa Owusu- Ankomah who is Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Health Minister was the person infected with notable rank. Anthony K. K Sam, Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi succumbed to the virus on June 12.
Evacuation of Ghanaians overseas
Over 1,100 Ghanaians stranded overseas are set to be evacuated and sent back home. They were stranded in different countries across the globe due to restrictions on border crossings.
Numbers from the Ghanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration show that 230 were flown in from Kuwait, 77 from Nigeria, 41 from the United States of America, 154 from Dubai, and 141 from Benin. The rest came in from South Africa, China, Egypt, and Burkina Faso. During a media brief in Accra, Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey indicated that most arrivals happened between May and early June.
She added that 250 more Ghanaians stranded in the United Arab Emirates will be returned home.400 have thus far come back from China and 196 are expected from Lebanon.
The Minister pointed out the complexity of the evacuation process and the high cost of checking them into hotels for quarantine.
He believes there are many more across the world who wish to be evacuated but help has not reached them. Many are hoping institutions and individuals with facilities offer their space to government, so as to spread out the financial burden.
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