The Minister-designate for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has explained that the new restrictions on social gatherings as announced by President Akufo-Addo last Sunday, does not mean a ban on marriages.
Rather, he says the social activity of parties and/or receptions associated with occasions such as funerals and marriages is what has been banned.
Consequently, he says, marriages, which are held where there is a strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols can go on.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah gave the clarification on Tuesday at a press briefing on government’s COVID-19 response in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo last Sunday announced some fresh restrictions on social events, including weddings and funerals as part of interventions to halt the surge of the Coronavirus disease in Ghana.
The directive, according to the President, was based on data, which suggests that the surge in cases was as a result of non-adherence to preventive protocols at such social gatherings.
The President’s announcement triggered a discussion on why religious gatherings under strict protocols as prescribed and for two hours have been allowed but events such as funerals and weddings had been banned.
Throwing more light on the President’s directive, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah explained that “the President did not say that marriages are banned.”
Likewise, he said burial services were allowed but with a limited number of 25 persons at the ceremony.
“The president did not ban burial service because the activity of burial, we actually encourage to go on… What is banned is the funeral where typically in the Ghanaian community we will all gather, shake hands, announcement of people, then they’ll call for a song, people will come and dance, where there is a little party associated with it. That is what has been banned,” he explained.
“In the same way, when it comes to marriage, what the president has said is that, what in Ghana we call wedding, the full-blown wedding where we have a big party with reception and people dancing and people eating, siting at reception tables, etc, that is what has been banned,” he added.
“We’ve got a lot of requests about so what if somebody is having a church service, which is allowed, and they choose to bless their marriage there as part of the church service. I’m not sure that is what has been banned. It’s the wedding. The full-blown wedding with it’s reception and social activity associated with it is what has been banned,” Mr Oppong-Nkrumah explained further.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye noted that as at January 30, 2021, Ghana had recorded 5,515 active cases, 424 deaths and 61,843 discharges or clinical recoveries.
He also noted that the Greater Accra Region accounted for 56.7 per cent of total cases, while the Ashanti and Western Regions accounted for 16.0 and 6.1 per cent of cases respectively.
He added that 294 persons who had tested positive for COVID-19 were on admission, with 34 being critical, 122 being severe and 138 being mild to moderate cases.