Ghana lifts its partial lockdown on Accra and Kumasi

Ghana's government has announced that it will lift its partial lockdown that was announced on 15 March in the areas around the capital Accra and in Kumasi.

However the ban on gatherings remains in place and schools are still closed. And the country's borders will be shut for another two weeks.

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Public transport and domestic airlines must maintain social distancing and ensure that the necessary hygiene measures are in place. Business and other workplaces can now re-open provided they practise social distancing and hygiene controls.

As the president Nana Akufo-Addo announced the lifting of the partial lockdown he reported that 68,000 people have been tested with 18,000 tests still pending. According to the president Ghana is the only African country to have conducted more than 60,000 tests. Of Ghana's 1,042 positive cases, 99 people have already recovered. Nine people have died.

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In his address to the nation the president also announced that the country has been using drones for the transport of testing samples to laboratory centres, that it has stepped up production of personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers and masks and has added extra hospital facilities.

He also reported that the University of Ghana has managed to sequence the genome of the coronavirus responsible for covid-19 and that Ghana will support the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative (AVMI) for development and manufacturing vaccines in Africa for African countries. At present Africa manufactures less than one per cent of the vaccines it needs in only five countries, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa.

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Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state in Nigerian lockdown for 14 days

The president also said that new debt relief measures have been co-ordinated across the continent with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. New credit facilities, supported by Bank of Ghana and commerical banks, have also been agreed to help businesses in the pharmaceutical, hospitality and manufacturing sectors in particular, and to assist the vulnerable.

In his address the president said that the government will come down heavily on the dissemination of fake news and on the stigmatisation of people who have had covid-19. 

According to the WHO figures for the African Region only South Africa (with 3,300 cases as of 21 April) ) and Cameroon with (1,163) have more recorded cases than Ghana (1,042).

According to the WHO figures neighbouring Ivory Coast has 879, Burkina Faso 576 and Togo 84. Nigeria with a much larger population has 541.

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