President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to avoid large family gatherings or any other grouping that goes against the social distancing rules in the celebration of this year’s Easter.
This message comes as a reminder to Ghanaians as Accra and Kumasi, the epicentres of the coronavirus in Ghana are still under lockdown following an extension of the restriction on movement directive by one week.
In a televised address to update the country on the government’s measures put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, April 9, the President urged the general public to “make that sacrifice” to observe the Easter in their homes.
He stated that “We are used to attending Easter conventions, making-merry, visiting friends and family, and having a good time. Yes, like a lot of you, I was also looking forward to visiting Kwahu during this time of the year, which I have been doing for several years. However, I am urging all of us to do the exact opposite of what we have been used to for many years.”
“Stay at home. I ask you to keep your distance from your parents, grandparents and extended family, and celebrate this holiday apart. Do not host a big family gathering, and sternly refuse to attend one if you are invited. Your relatives will understand you are doing this out of love for them. Please, make that sacrifice,” he pleaded.
Akufo-Addo, on Sunday [March 15, 2020] announced a ban on all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities and other related events as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.
This order was well adhered to by the said groups, including churches who were preparing towards the celebration of the death of Christ.
Welcoming the directive, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Methodist Church, Ghana, Seventh-Day Adventist Churches among other religious institutions suspended all church activities that involved overcrowding and resorted to having services online.
Ghana’s cases of coronavirus
The President, in the address, revealed that Ghana’s cases of the novel Coronavirus had increased to 378.
According to him, the new cases were detected as a result of the ongoing enhanced contact tracing and testing exercise.
“We now see that the decision to close our borders has been justified as 105 of the confirmed cases came from those who were mandatorily quarantined and tested on arrival into the country on the 21st and the 22nd of March. 192 of our cases also came from travellers who came into the country before closure [of our borders] and they contribute for 79% of the 378 confirmed cases [in Ghana],” he said.
Meanwhile, the government through the Interior Ministry has officially declared Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13 as statutory public holidays.
This is to mark Good Friday and Easter Monday respectively.
Many Christians around the world observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday.
It commemorates Jesus Christ’s Passion, crucifixion, and death, which is told in the Christian Bible.
Easter Monday is also observed as a public holiday in many countries around the world and is part of the Easter period.