The President gave the order when he addressed the nation on Sunday, March 15, 2020. “All Universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, however, said students who will be taking part in this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) “will be allowed to attend school to prepare for their examinations, but with prescribed social distancing protocols.”
Government bans Church activities, funerals, all other public gatherings
The government has also banned all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities, and other related events as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country. President Nana Akufo-Addo during the national address said the ban will be in force for the next four weeks.
“I have decided in the interest of public safety and the protection of our population to review the public gathering advisories earlier announced as follows. Firstly, all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as services in churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four (4) weeks. Private burials are permitted, but with limited numbers, not exceeding twenty-five (25) in attendance,” the President said.
Four more cases of Coronavirus confirmed in Ghana
Four more cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Ghana. This brings to six, the total number of cases reported in the country. This was announced by the government at a press briefing to update citizens on the outbreak of the Novel 2019 (COVID-19) in the country. The government said three of the cases were recorded in Accra while one other was recorded in the Ashanti Region.
The Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie who provided updates on the country’s cases said the new cases were also imported into the country. He said two of the cases were confirmed on the 13th of March 2020 while the other two were confirmed on 14th March, 2020.
Schools shut down
The Ghana International School on Friday, March 13, 2020, announced that it has temporarily closed down following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Ghana. This was disclosed by the Head Principal of the school, Dr. Mary Ashun in a communiqué to parents, staff and community members of the school. The school explained that the move is in line with its board’s policy on emergencies. Other international schools in Ghana including the Lincoln Community School and the Roman Ridge school had also served notice of doing same following the outbreak.
Sources at the Lincoln Community School confirmed to Citi News that fears are high as some parents with wards in the school are working for staff at the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana and have probably come into contact with a top official of the Embassy said to have tested positive to coronavirus. The University of Ghana management has suspended lectures following confirmation that one of its students has been infected with COVID-19. The University of Ghana has also banned non-residential students from coming to the University of Ghana campus until further notice.
How to protect yourself
To prevent the spread, the standard recommendations coming from the WHO is regular hand washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. People are also advised to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.