Ghana is lifting a 21-day lockdown of its biggest cities after the restrictions bought the government enough time to improve its preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic, said President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Residents of the capital, Accra, and major centres will be allowed to return to work from Monday even though other restrictions such as school closures and a ban on sport and religious meetings remain in place, Akufo-Addo said Sunday in a televised address.
Ghana has spent the three-week lockdown to conduct more than 68 000 tests and draw-up plans to establish testing centers in all of its 16 regions, Akufo-Addo said. Local factories commenced the production of protective equipment while drone services are used to speed-up the transportation of tests, he said.
Confirmed cases reached 1 042 with nine deaths, while the results of 18 000 testing samples remain outstanding.
“Lifting these restrictions doesn’t mean we are letting our guard down,” said Akufo-Addo. “We’ll tailor our solution to our unique social economic and cultural condition. There’s no one-size fits all approach.”
The pandemic has brought three years of economic expansion of 6% or more to a sudden halt in the nation of 30 million people, with the finance ministry forecasting growth of 1.5%, the slowest in 37 years. The International Monetary Fund last week disbursed $1 billion to Ghana to fight the outbreak and help mitigate economic losses.
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