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FULL TEXT: Akufo-Addo’s 18th Address To The Nation On Measures To Fight Coronavirus

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FULL TEXT: Akufo-Addo’s 18th Address To The Nation On Measures To Fight Corona virus. President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the nation on the measures the government is taking to combat the spread of the Coronavirus in Ghana.

In the 18th address to the nation, Nana Akufo-Addo revealed that his aim is to have zero active cases of the COVID-19 in Ghana.

“Zero active cases must be the goal and I have no doubt that together and with the help of God, this too shall pass for the battle is still the Lord’s,” Akufo-Addo said.

Read below the President’s 18th address to the nation.

Fellow Ghanaians, good evening.

I am speaking to you tonight from Peduase Lodge, after having just completed the last Cabinet Retreat of Government for this year, and I thank you for allowing me into your homes once again.

It is a little over seven (7) months ago, since I started providing updates on the measures Government was putting in place in response to the novel Coronavirus disease. I have provided, so far, seventeen (17) updates, which have demonstrated the co-ordinated approach we initiated towards winning the battle against the pandemic. We can safely say that the benefits are showing.

During my last update, a month ago, we had a total of five hundred and seven (507) active cases. Forty-five thousand, two hundred and fifty-eight (45,258) persons had recovered, and two hundred and ninety-seven (297) persons had, unfortunately, died.

As at Friday, 16th October, the number of active cases has declined further to three hundred and ninety-eight (398), with forty-six thousand, six hundred and sixty-four (46,664) persons fully recovered from the virus, putting our recovery rate at 98.5%.

Thirteen (13) more deaths have occurred, bringing the total number of deaths, tragically, to three hundred and ten (310), out of a total number of five hundred and ten thousand, and seventy-four (510,074) persons tested. The rate of death, 0.5%, continues to remain very low.

When you take a close look at the measures some other countries are having to take, including imposing night-time curfews and partial lockdowns, declaring state of emergencies, limiting the numbers of people permitted at public gatherings, and mandatorily fining persons for not wearing masks, all in the bid to contain the secondwave of the virus, we, in Ghana, have been spared all these developments and restrictions. We must, thus, be doing something right.

In fact, our favourable situation at the moment is thanks to the effectiveness of Government policies, the co-operation of you, the Ghanaian people, and, ultimately, to the grace of God.

The science and data tell us that the trajectory of the virus in Ghana mirrors that of an epidemic with reduced disease activity. Our daily infection rates are no longer in the hundreds as they were sometime back. Presently, they are in the tens, averaging twenty-five (25) new cases per day, in the course of last week.

This is in sharp contrast with what is happening in the countries that are experiencing a second wave of infections, where, in some instances, new infections and hospitalizations are, sadly, in the thousands per day.

In spite of our successes, I would like to reiterate that this virus remains something of a mystery, and we should always rather err on the side of caution, and continue to observe the protocols that have brought us to where we are.

As President of the Republic, I assured you of my continuing commitment to limiting and stopping the importation of the virus, containing its spread, providing adequate care for the sick, slowing down community spread, reducing the impact of the virus on social and economic life, and using the opportunity afforded by this pandemic to expand our domestic production capacity, and deepen our self-reliance. I remain committed to these objectives, and I will not stray from them.

Fellow Ghanaians, we all know that the emergence of the virus on our shores came from abroad, necessitating the closure of our borders, by land, air and sea, in March 2020. Following the provision of testing facilities, which ensure the speed and accuracy of COVID-19 testing, Kotoka International Airport was reopened on 1stSeptember 2020.

It has been six (6) weeks since the reopening, and a total of thirty thousand, five hundred and sixty-four (30,564) passengers have been tested, from which ninety-two (92) have tested positive.

All ninety-two (92) are asymptomatic cases, whose status, but for the test, would not have been detected, and would have spread the disease amongst the rest of the population. I am aware that some are calling for Government to extend the PCR negative test period before boarding the flight from three (3) days to at least five (5) days.

I believe, in the context of the second wave of infections that is engulfing so many countries of Europe and America, that we have to insist on the three (3) day period. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Indeed, across the country, Government has seen to the expansion of COVID-19 testing facilities, from the initial (2) to sixteen (16), which include those of private sector providers.

Additionally, some hospitals across the country have been equipped with the capacity to test for COVID-19. We now have more dedicated treatment facilities for dealing with the disease, and have also improved considerably the availability of PPEs for our health workers. It is reassuring that we no longer have news of shortages or lack of PPEs.

Through a public-private partnership, our nation is the beneficiary of a one hundred (100) bed Infectious Diseases Centre, located at the Ga East Municipal Hospital, with plans in the offing to replicate it in Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.

In as much as we currently have no patients at the isolation centres, I express the gratitude of the nation, once again, to private and religious bodies, who provided their facilities to support the fight. These laudable efforts have manifested the collective will of the majority of Ghanaians to rally together, irrespective of ethnic, religious or partisan political considerations, to help win this fight.

It is important for me to stress that the cost of providing for the care of most persons stricken with the virus is being borne by Government, ensuring that persons who tested positive, and were in need of healthcare, received it promptly.

The strategic, controlled, progressive, safe easing of restrictions continues, with its over-arching objective being to restore our lives and economy back to normal. SHS 2 and JHS 2 students are back in school, as are some students in tertiary institutions and colleges.

Indeed, the academic year for new and continuing University students will commence from January 2021. Football, the passion of the nation, will return in two-weeks; private burials, still, with a maximum of one hundred (100) persons, are being performed; and the limit on the numbers of persons who can attend conferences, workshops, and award events, has been lifted, subject to the strict adherence of Covid-19 protocols.

On the economic front, according to the Bank of Ghana, the Ghanaian economy is recovering faster than initially anticipated. Consumer confidence is bouncing back strongly, and is today above pre-lockdown levels.

Business confidence has also increased, reflecting the improving macroeconomic conditions, stability in the exchange rate, lower input prices, moderation in lending rates, and positive industry prospects. Consumer spending, industrial consumption of electricity, and construction activities have all reached pre-lockdown levels, whilst tourist arrivals and port harbour activity are gradually edging upwards.

So, I urge all of you, my fellow Ghanaians, to continue to comply with the strict hygiene, mask-wearing and social distancing protocols that have become part of our daily routines. This is the surest way by which we can defeat the virus, and avoid a second wave of infections.

The outlook on our battle against COVID-19 remains optimistic, for which we thank God and you, the Ghanaian people. It is important that we maintain this positive position, especially with a few weeks to the holding of the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.

I have said before, let us continue to look out for one another, and remain each other’s keeper, and I am confident that, by doing so, we will emerge victorious in the fight against COVID-19. Zero active cases must be the goal, and I have no doubt that, together, and with the help of God, this too shall pass, for the Battle is still the Lord’s.

May God bless us all and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.
I thank you for your attention. FULL TEXT: Akufo-Addo’s 18th Address To The Nation On Measures To Fight Corona virus.

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Don’t fight over Rawlings’s death – Otumfuo appeals

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The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu has appealed to the government and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to work together and give late former president Jerry John Rawlings a befitting burial.

Otumfuo has cautioned that all individuals and groups who will be playing roles in the burial of Rawlings must collaborate to give him a befitting farewell.

Speaking when the family of Rawlings, led by Victor Gbeho, Dr. Zanetor Rawlings and Kimathi Rawlings, called on him at the Manhyia Palace to inform him of Rawlings’s death, Otumfuo eulogized the late president and called for unity.

“There shouldn’t be any confusion in his absence, we should all unite and give him a peaceful and befitting burial and funeral rites that he truly deserves after his significant services for the state,” Otumfuo is quoted by the DailyGuide newspaper.

Otumfuo also praised Rawlings for embracing democracy when he decided to hand over power to the Kufuor administration in 2000.

“I remember after the 2000 elections when he (Rawlings) was supposed to exit the political office. He told me to arrange a meeting between him and Kufuor so that we could all arrange for a peaceful transition of power.

“This was a former military man, who has transformed over the years to love and appreciate the democratic system of government. This laudable action that he took helped to ensure peace and unity in the country at the time.”

The NDC, the party founded by Rawlings has accused the NPP government of hijacking the burial and funeral activities of Rawlings.

Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC lamented at a vigil held in honor of Rawlings, that the party has been left in the dark over plans for Rawlings’s funeral.

“The President has refused to recognize that the man belongs to NDC, and he is the founder of NDC. Everything about this funeral so far depicts an attempt by an opponent to hijack the funeral of the founding father of our political party, and we don’t think the funeral of our party founder ought to be organized somewhere, and we get invited,” Asiedu Nketia added.

Being close to Rawlings helps to appreciate his goodness, kindness – Jospong
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Nana Konadu withdraws from 2020 polls

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Flagbearer of the National Democratic Party(NDP), Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, has pulled out of the 2020 Presidential elections, Kasapafmonline.com has gathered.

This comes barely 14 days to the December 7 general elections.

It’s believed that the last-minute consideration is linked to the demise of Konadu’s husband, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings who passed away two weeks ago.

Reports say the NDP leader has informed the EC of her decision.

Meanwhile, the party is scheduled to address a press conference later today.

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GH¢36m compensation was shared among the staff of the OSP – Captain Smart alleges

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Captain Smart, host of ‘Anopa Bofour’ on Angel FM, says that the former Special Prosecutor signed for the disbursement of GH¢36m as compensation among the staff who worked at the Office of the Special Prosecutor in the year 2018.

“In 2018, they shared GH¢36m as compensation and you signed that money should be paid to workers who are not up 100. What is called compensation?” he said on his show on Friday.

“What is Martin Amidu talking about? Ask him if they did not share GH¢36m in that office.”

Captain Smart claimed further that Martin Amidu whilst in office presented a one-year budget of GH¢360m just for logistics.

According to him, Martin Amidu presented his budget to the presidency on a Thursday and the president called him [Martin Amidu] on Friday, thus a day after he presented the budget and he was asked how he wants the money to be disbursed.

Captain Smart claimed also that Martin Amidu indicated that he would need the money to be paid by installments, that as and when he needed it, he would alert the presidency for it to be paid.

Smart said that the President suggested to Amidu that, since, he, Amidu had expressed interest in working at the speed of light, then paying the money by instalment would not help. Instead, the President suggested that Amidu should be given a reasonable amount of money that would help him work well so that when he needed the remaining amount, it would be given to him.

“The finance ministry was directed on a Wednesday to pay GH¢180m into the Special Prosecutor’s account, so that he can work with it,” Captain Smart said.

“Why blame Ghanaians when you refused to purchase the car you requested in your budget?” he quizzed.

Captain Smart warned that political parties should desist from making political capital with what Martin Amidu has done.

“He’s so much indisciplined eh! That man? Do you know that he punched somebody at the late Prof Mills’ office? Martin Amidu gave a Minister a blow and he fell flat on the president’s table,” Smart said.

“I’m daring him. I am pushing him, he should come out and speak…Martin Amidu can’t even prosecute an ant.”

Captain Smart indicated furthermore that later after the GH¢180m was paid, an additional GH¢88m was paid into the OSP account.

“What is he talking about? What is Martin Amidu talking about? He should stop,” Captain Smart stressed.

Martin Amidu on Monday, November 16, 2020, resigned from his position as the Special Prosecutor.

In a resignation letter to the President, Martin Amidu said: “The one condition upon which I accepted to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor when you invited me to your Office on 10th January 2018 was your firm promise to me that you will respect and ensure same by your Government for my independence and freedom of action as the Special Prosecutor.”

Source : Ghanaweb.com

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