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4 important updates from Akufo-Addo on COVID-19 upsurge in Ghana

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4 important updates from Akufo-Addo on COVID-19 upsurge in Ghana. The 26th COVID-19 address by the president came on the back of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) warning that fully-vaccinated persons are testing positive for the fast-spreading Delta variant with very high viral loads.

But delivering his update, the President said “As per data available from the Ghana Health Service, it appears that, unfortunately, our nation is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections”.

Below are highlights of President Akufo-Addo’s address on COVID-19.

Ban on post funeral, wedding receptions
President Akufo-Addo announced a ban on post-funeral receptions across the country in the wake of a third wave of COVID19 in Ghana.

According to him, all funerals must also be held in open spaces and there must be the observance of the one (1) metre social distancing rule by sympathisers.

“All events associated with funerals must be held in open air spaces; there must be observance of the one (1) metre social distancing rule by sympathisers; the wearing of masks is mandatory, and persons must respect the enhanced hygiene protocols; funerals should not go beyond the two (2) hour time duration; post-funeral receptions are banned; handshakes must be avoided; and one-week funeral celebrations are restricted solely to family members, and should not exceed a duration of two (2) hours.”

Ghana to receive over 18million COVID-19 vaccines in third quarter of the year
He also opined that government is procuring some 18,478,670 vaccines through the COVAX facility, African Medicine Supply Platform and other bodies to aid in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Government is also in the process of procuring seventeen million (17 million) single dose per person Johnson & Johnson vaccines, through the African Medicine Supply Platform, in this quarter,” he said.

Over 1.2M doses of COVID vaccines administered in Ghana so far
President Akufo-Addo further announced that One million, Two Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety-Three (1,271,393) doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far.

Out of that number, 865, 422 persons have received a single jab, whereas 405, 971 people have received their full dose of two jabs.

$25million for local production of COVID-19 vaccines
According to the President, Ghana must develop its capacity to produce own vaccines domestically, and reduce the dependence on foreign supplies.

Thus, he noted that Ghana must be self-sufficient and prepare better to deal with any such occurrences in the future.

“… the Committee I established, under the leadership of the world-renowned Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub, to meet national and regional needs, has presented its preliminary report which, amongst others, recommends the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead this development.

“Government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year into this whole enterprise.”

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Kenneth Dwomoh