President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has firmly assured that government will ensure that the newly approved Covid-19 vaccines are effective and safe for Ghanaians.
Addressing the nation yesterday on Ghana’s enhanced response to the Coronavirus pandemic, he disclosed that a team of experts from the relevant institutions and agencies are working assiduously towards the procurement and deployment of the vaccines in Ghana.
“Fellow Ghanaians, the recent news of emergency approvals of COVID-19 vaccines, by the Food and Drugs Administration of the United States of America, and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom, provide considerable optimism and hope for the world in our battle to defeat the pandemic,” the President said.
He added, “I am aware of the anxieties relating to the safety and efficacy of newly-developed vaccines. Government will ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines to be deployed in the country are effective and are safe. To this end, I have put together a team of experts, from the relevant institutions and agencies, who are working assiduously towards the procurement and deployment of the vaccines in Ghana.”
Election and Covid-19
President Akufo-Addo noted that although many had expressed fears that there would be a surge in Ghana’s cases as a result of the political campaign leading to the December 7 elections, “we have, on the contrary, witnessed a stable daily rate of infection of between 130 and 100 cases,” he said.
He further disclosed that the total number of active cases has reduced marginally from 1,139 as at Friday, November 6, 2020, to 946 as at Friday, December 18.
“Our hospitalisation rates continue to be very low, and our treatment centres are virtually empty. As per data from Ghana Health Service, some regions, at the moment, have no recorded active cases, and long may this continue,” he said.
He praised Ghana’s health workers for seeing to 52,675 recoveries, and expressed the government’s appreciation to them for their efforts.
“Unfortunately, thirteen (13) more deaths from COVID-19 and its complications have been recorded, bringing the total number of fatalities to 333 out of the 53,954 confirmed cases. May their souls rest in peace.
“The data tell us that we are experiencing, in Ghana, clusters of cases linked, largely, to confined indoor spaces with poor ventilation, workplaces, offices, factories, schools, parties, and arriving passengers at our airport,” he said.
With few days to the Christmas festivities, which will bring in its wake family reunions, parties and many social and religious gatherings, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to err on the side of caution, and observe the COVID-19 safety protocols no matter where they find ourselves.
“The dynamics of the virus has taught us that, if you must host or attend such events, they are best held safely outdoors or in very well-ventilated halls, rather than in closed, air-conditioned spaces. Even when organised outdoors, there must be adequate spacing for the maintenance of social distancing. Organisers of such events, public or private, should ensure the presence of ‘Veronica’ buckets, soap and sanitisers, and must insist that patrons use them as frequently as possible,” he said.
He entreated all persons with underlying ailments, such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and asthma to pay particular attention to their health during the festive season.
He again said Ghana’s borders, by land and sea, will remain closed to human traffic until further notice.
“Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs remain closed until further notice. All other institutions that have been cleared to function are to continue to do so in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols,” he said.