President Nana Akufo-Addo has imposed restrictions on movement in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions of Ghana as part of measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus which has killed four people in Ghana so far out of some one hundred thirty-seven patients of which two have recovered.
The President said in his fourth national address to the nation on Friday night that: “This, in essence, means that everyone resident in these areas must stay at home for the next two weeks”.
“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”.
“There shall be”, the President noted, “during this period, no intercity movement of vehicles and aircraft for private or commercial purposes for the areas affected by the restrictive measures except for vehicles and aircraft providing essential services and those carrying cargo. Riders of motorbikes are not allowed to carry any additional person and all intracity 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 shall observe appropriate hygiene protocols and social distancing”.
He also said markets are to ensure 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”.
However, he noted, “individuals and institutions providing the following services shall be exempted from the 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, fisherfolk, members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties, staff of ECG, GWCL, telcos, e-commerce and digital service providers and staff of fuel stations”.
Even though the President left out the media as one of those exempted from the lockdown, his Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah later tweeted that the media is exempted.