Basic Information of Sunday, 21 June 2020
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President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, June 21, 2020, delivered the 12th deal with on measures his authorities is taking to include the unfold of COVID-19 in Ghana.
Amongst different issues, he introduced an association to completely take in the examination charges for greater than 300,000 college students sitting for the West African Senior Secondary Certification Examination. Some GHS75.Four million will likely be spent on the initiative.
Learn his full speech beneath.
Fellow Ghanaians, good night.
It has been three and a half months since we begun our combat to defeat the Coronavirus pandemic within the nation. It has, up to now, been a co-ordinated and enhanced response, with tracing, testing, isolating, treating, and the upkeep of the related social distancing and hygiene protocols being the weapons we proceed to make use of to assist include the unfold of the virus.
We’re all agreed that this novel illness has thrust the entire world into unknown and unchartered territory, and we’re having to be taught as we go alongside. As a part of the phased strategy to return our lives, safely, again to regular, last yr college students in our tertiary establishments returned to highschool on Monday, 15th June, to arrange for and sit their exit examinations.
One week on, it has proved to be a comparatively clean train, with only a few hitches recorded. I thank, particularly, the Vice Chancellors and different heads of our tertiary establishments for the assist and co-operation supplied Authorities in direction of its success. Certainly, selections, like these being taken by the management of Sunyani Technical College, within the Bono Area, to sanction college students, lecturers and non-teaching workers, who flout the COVID-19 protocols, reinforce the collective willpower of nearly all of Ghanaians to defeat the virus.
From tomorrow, Monday, 22nd June, the following batch of scholars, who will likely be going again to highschool, are last yr senior highschool college students (SHS 3), and second yr Gold Monitor college students. On Thursday, I held consultations with members of each the Convention of Heads of Assisted Secondary Faculties (CHASS), and the Affiliation of Principals of Technical Institutes (APTI), to agree on the modalities for the return of the scholars. Regardless of the brief discover for the assembly, I used to be completely happy to see the spectacular turnout of their executives from all elements of the nation, and I’m grateful for the wholehearted co-operation they pledged to Authorities.
Like their seniors on the College, SHS Three college students will likely be at school for a complete of six (6) weeks, earlier than sitting for the WASSCE exams over a interval of two (2) weeks. SHS 2 Gold Monitor college students, who’re returning to finish their first semester like their Inexperienced Monitor colleagues have achieved, will likely be at school for six (6) weeks, earlier than occurring trip.
All one thousand, 100 and sixty-seven (1,167) Senior Excessive Faculties within the nation have been fumigated and disinfected. Every pupil, educating and non-teaching workers, invigilator and college administrator, numbering some eight hundred thousand (800,000), will likely be supplied with three (3) items of reusable face masks, i.e. two (2) being offered tomorrow, and the third inside a fortnight.
Nonetheless, I encourage mother and father to supply their wards and youngsters with a minimum of one (1) face overlaying on their strategy to college. A complete of eighteen thousand (18,000) Veronica Buckets, eight hundred thousand (800,000) items of 200 millilitre sanitizers, thirty-six thousand (36,000) rolls of tissue paper, thirty-six thousand (36,000) gallons of liquid cleaning soap, and 7 thousand, 200 (7,200) thermometer weapons have been distributed.
A most of twenty-five college students will likely be permitted in every class. All day college students in colleges with boarding homes will likely be resident in these boarding homes, while day college students, in colleges with out boarding amenities, will commute from residence, and will likely be required to stick to enhanced hygiene protocols; consuming in eating halls will likely be in applicable numbers; and no guests to the faculties will likely be allowed.
There will likely be no mass gatherings and no sporting actions. Non secular actions, underneath the brand new protocols, will likely be permitted. Social distancing and the sporting of face masks are compulsory in our colleges.
One dormitory block in every senior highschool is for use as an isolation centre, within the occasion of a pupil falling sick. Once more, every SHS has been mapped to a well being facility, and care will likely be offered to the sick by nurses assigned to those colleges.
By way of the Nationwide Meals and Buffer Inventory Firm, sufficient meals provides have been distributed to all colleges. Authorities can also be making obtainable 300 and fifty (350) buses and eight hundred and forty (840) pickup automobiles to senior excessive colleges that didn’t obtain automobiles in 2016.
For the primary time in our nation’s historical past, Authorities will take in the WASSCE examination charges of the 300 and 13 thousand, eight hundred and thirty-seven (313,837) SHS Three college students who will sit for the examination. GH¢75.Four million will likely be spent on this.
These SHS Three college students, additionally referred to by some because the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’, are the primary group of beneficiaries of Authorities’s Free Senior Excessive Faculty coverage to take a seat the WASSCE exams. 1.2 million kids, the very best such enrolment in our nation’s historical past, due to this coverage, are presently in senior excessive colleges.
Allow us to pause for a second to contemplate what would have occurred to the 4 hundred thousand (400,000) extra college students, who’ve entered Senior Excessive Faculty between 2017 and 2019, with out this coverage in place.
We launched Free SHS as a result of historical past, and the experiences of developed nations, have proven that essentially the most environment friendly strategy to empower the inhabitants, and, thereby, assure the way forward for the nation, is by investing in training and expertise coaching of the youth. It is because it’s the individuals of Ghana, Ghanaians such as you and I, and particularly the youth of right now, who’re going to construct Ghana.
With out an informed populace, will probably be tough to transition from the standing of a growing to a developed nation. Summing it up, that almost all noble Ghanaian, James Kwegyir Aggrey, mentioned, 100 years in the past, and I quote, “I would like all my individuals, my nation ladies and men to be educated …, and thus render Africa indispensable in mental, religious and business merchandise of the world.”
I take this chance to guarantee all mother and father and guardians that Authorities is decided to guard the lives of the eight hundred thousand (800,000) college students, academics and non-teaching workers, who will likely be returning to highschool from tomorrow. I would be the final particular person to place the lives of the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ in danger.
It bears repeating that they have to all adhere strictly to enhanced private hygiene and social distancing protocols, recurrently wash their palms with cleaning soap underneath operating water, chorus from shaking palms, and put on masks to guard themselves and others. These guidelines apply to all of us.
Fellow Ghanaians, the consultants advised us proper originally of this pandemic that, whether or not the virus spreads or not, relies on our particular person behaviour. Somebody put it graphically that the virus has not received toes, and can’t transfer by itself, and that we, people, unfold it. The big majority of us proceed to stick to the protocols.
Sadly, there are some who don’t; others have slackened; and an unacceptably vital quantity have refused to obey them altogether. In such an environment, if we don’t take care, the virus will proceed to unfold, which is able to result in insupportable stress on our well being amenities and care givers. Every one in every of us have to be a part of the combat to cease the unfold of the virus.
Our strategy to coping with the virus, as I’ve all the time mentioned, will likely be knowledgeable by the evolving science and information. On the outset of the pandemic, the scientific neighborhood and the World Well being Organisation (WHO), on 12th January, 2020, really helpful two foremost standards for declaring somebody who has examined optimistic as having recovered from the illness. The primary is that you simply not have signs, and the second is that you’re not able to infecting others.
Initially, the scientific considering was that, as lengthy you proceed to check optimistic, you’re able to infecting others. Therefore, the requirement for the 2 consecutive, unfavorable assessments earlier than you’re declared as having recovered.
This was the science that knowledgeable the rules that Ghana has, up to now, adopted. Nonetheless, there may be now new proof which states that, after ten (10) to 14 (14) days, an individual, with no signs, is unlikely to transmit the virus to others, even when the particular person continues to check optimistic.
It’s on this foundation that WHO has up to date its tips, as printed per its Scientific Administration of COVID-19 Interim Steerage, of 27th Might 2020, “as a part of the scientific care pathway of a COVID-19 affected person”. In keeping with WHO, asymptomatic sufferers, i.e. those that have examined optimistic for the virus, however usually are not exhibiting any signs after fourteen (14) days, “usually are not more likely to be infectious, and, subsequently, are unlikely to have the ability to transmit the virus to a different particular person”.
After three (3) weeks of analysing and learning this replace and advice, and situating it within the Ghanaian context, in keeping with the admonition by WHO to Member States, this new affected person discharge/restoration coverage has now been adopted by Ghana, as have some nations within the European Union, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and in Dubai.
As at Saturday, 20th June, the whole variety of positives, cumulatively, stands at fourteen thousand, and 100 and fifty-four (14,154), out of the 200 and seventy thousand, 300 (270,300) assessments carried out. Beneath the revised coverage, 5 thousand, 9 hundred and twenty-five (5,925) individuals have recovered and been discharged. This brings the whole variety of recoveries to 10 thousand, 4 hundred and seventy-three (10,473).
The variety of energetic circumstances is, thus, three thousand, 5 hundred and ninety-six (3,596). In our hospitals and isolation centres, we presently have twenty-four (24) individuals severely in poor health, six (6) individuals critically in poor health, with 4 (4) individuals on ventilators. Eighty-five (85) individuals have, regrettably, died.
This elevated variety of individuals being discharged from our isolation and therapy centres brings in its wake yet one more subject that now we have to take care of – stigmatisation. It’s apparent that stigmatisation is including additional dimensions to the already tough drawback of the pandemic. A part of the rationale for the unfold of the virus is the reluctance of some individuals to confess they’ve examined optimistic, and go into quarantine for concern of being stigmatised, and, within the course of, proceed to be brokers of the unfold of the virus.
Individuals, who take a look at optimistic for the virus, as soon as they get well, don’t pose any hazard by any means to anybody, as a result of the scientists inform us that they’ll not unfold the virus. As I’ve mentioned earlier than, there may be nothing shameful about contracting the virus, and, consequently, we do not need to lose our sense of neighborhood due to this pandemic.
Fellow Ghanaians, in keeping with our coverage of offering optimum look after the sick, and decreasing COVID-19 associated deaths, Authorities continues to mobilise holding-bay, quarantine, isolation and therapy centres throughout the nation. I thank the Ghana Nationwide Affiliation of Lecturers (GNAT) for his or her admirable, civic gesture of creating obtainable their facility in Ejisu within the Ashanti Area; and the Catholic Bishops Convention for agreeing to using their amenities throughout the nation as isolation centres within the combat in opposition to COVID-19.
These are well timed presents, which is able to be sure that our general healthcare methods usually are not unduly burdened and overrun. Such establishments deserve the honest appreciation of your entire nation, as does the gesture of the Minister for Setting, Science, Expertise and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, who has supplied his 70-bed hospital in Toase, within the Ashanti Area, as a COVID-19 therapy centre.
As I indicated in my deal with to the nation final week, the good majority of circumstances are within the Larger Accra and Ashanti Areas. For these two areas, I’ve accepted additional funding within the following areas:
· Further ICU mattress amenities in Larger Accra Area;
· A brand new therapy centre for Ashanti Area;
· Further laboratories to strengthen scientific care to permit for actual time outcomes;
· Extra medicines, consumables and tools; and
·Formal preparations for a pool of specialist well being professionals to enhance the respective resident multi-disciplinary well being groups at varied therapy centres.
We proceed to be indebted to our well being employees, and specific sorrow over the deaths of Dr. Harry Owusu Boateng, a paediatrician on the SDA Hospital in Kwadaso, Kumasi, and Sophia Addo, a nurse with the Ghana Manganese Firm Hospital in Tarkwa, who each died within the line of obligation. Might their souls relaxation in peace. I additionally urge the media to proceed the optimistic work of public training they’ve been engaged in, particularly, now, as restrictions are being systematically eased.
Earlier than I conclude, let me remind all Ghanaians, as soon as once more, that the sporting of masks is obligatory. Leaving our properties with out a face masks, a face overlaying, or a face protect on is an offence. The Police will conduct random checks within the enforcement of this directive. If you’re arrested by the police defying this directive, your sanction could possibly be extreme. So, please, allow us to, always, put on our masks. I enchantment to every one in every of you to take this as a private problem, and assist rid Ghana of the virus.
Regardless that, we now have a greater understanding of the dynamism of the virus in our nation; regardless that the bulk of people that contract the virus don’t present any signs in any respect; and regardless that Ghanaians usually are not dying within the a whole lot and 1000’s that had been initially anticipated, we can’t afford to be complacent, and let our guard down.
Allow us to stay centered, and cling to the improved hygiene, social distancing, and mask-wearing protocols, which have, and should, turn out to be half and parcel of our day by day lives for the foreseeable future. We are able to do it, if we work at it.
Let me, in conclusion, want the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’, the SHS Three college students, and their seniors in Universities, the most effective of luck of their forthcoming examinations, which will likely be carried out in security. Ghana wants all of them for her progress.
Might God bless us all, and our homeland Ghana, and make her nice and robust.
I thanks on your consideration.