Fellow Ghanaians, good evening.
I have come again, for the tenth (10th) time, into your homes to speak to you about the Coronavirus pandemic, share with you information about the fight against the virus, and outline to you the decisions I have taken about the next chapter of our common battle.
I thank each and every one of you for the collective and individual effort you have put in to help contain the spread of the disease on our shores. The great majority of us continue to adhere to the social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols; we have, as a result, altered our way of life to accommodate these changes; and we continue to make sacrifices to speed up the process of bringing our lives safely back to a state of normalcy. We have demonstrated not only to ourselves, but also to the entire world, that we are capable of charting our own path towards containing the spread of this disease. We must all be proud that we have become a reference point for others on how to combat it.
In all of this, I say a special ayekoo to our heroic healthcare workers, our efficient teams of contact tracers and testers, our farsighted scientists, our professional security personnel, and responsible members of our media, who have done a yeoman’s job over the last eleven (11) weeks in the fight. Your efforts are truly appreciated, and the Ghanaian people will always be in your debt.
When the first two cases were confirmed on 12th March, 2020, we took timely measures to attack the virus. We decided that we would, (i) limit and stop the importation of the virus, (ii) contain its spread, (iii) provide adequate care for the sick, (iv) limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life, and (v) use the opportunity afforded by the emergency to expand our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.
To attain these objectives, and respond to the clear evidence that large gatherings provide the most fertile grounds for the spread of the virus, on 15th March, three (3) days later, under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020, Act 1012, I placed a ban on public gatherings and closed down all schools and universities. On 21st March, I closed all our borders by land, air and sea. Subsequently, on 27th March, I placed restrictions on movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Tema, Kasoa, and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, for a period of three (3) weeks.
In view of the obvious economic difficulties that the tough measures brought, I also announced far-reaching reliefs to ease the economic and social burden on households and businesses. These included subsidies on utilities for all, tax reliefs and financial packages for businesses, and incentives for our frontline health workers.
Fellow Ghanaians, as at today, Sunday, 31st May, under these measures, we have conducted two hundred and eighteen thousand, four hundred and twenty-five (218,425) tests; the number of positive cases stands at eight thousand and seventy (8,070); two thousand, nine hundred and forty-seven (2,947) persons have recovered; thirty-six (36) have sadly died; thirteen (13) persons are severely ill, with three (3) critically-ill for which (1) is on a ventilator; and five thousand and eighty-seven are responding to treatment at home, isolation centres and hospitals.
Our hospitalisation and death rates have been, persistently, very low, some of the lowest in Africa and in the world. The Ghanaian people are not dying of the virus in the hundreds and thousands that were earlier anticipated, and that are being seen on a daily basis in some other countries. Indeed, we are witnessing a much milder manifestation of the virus in the country, than was initially feared. And, I dare say, that it is the grace of God, and the measures taken by Government that have produced this result.