Ghana will on the midnight of Sunday, March 22, 2020 close all its borders- land, sea and air- to human traffic to contain the spread of the coronavirus, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced Saturday.
The measure which will be observed for the next two weeks will however not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.
In a televised address to keep the nation abreast of additional measures being adopted by the government to help the fight against the disease, President Akufo-Addo said with 19 confirmed infections and one death recorded from the number, it had become prudent to scale up interventions to stave coronavirus spread.
Thus, anyone who came into the country before midnight on Sunday will be mandatorily quarantined and tested for the virus. And the health ministry will ensure that all persons who have been identified as having come into contact with infected persons is tested for the virus.
The President made an urgent plea to Ghanaians to maintain “strict self discipline and continue to practice prescribed social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols in their daily lives” as cases of localized infections of the disease are being recorded.
“We must wash our hands regularly, use alcohol-based sanitizers, stop shaking hands, and avoid unnecessary close body contact.
“I am pleading with each and every one of you, comply with this measures…Our survival is in our own hands,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the ministry of health was mobilizing new and retired health care professionals “to augment efforts in dealing with the possible surge in infections”.
Additionally, more personnel protection equipments are being procured to beef up supplies for frontline health workers, with 50,000 additional test kits expected in the country shortly.
The President appealed to the members of the pharmaceutical industry to increase their domestic production of pharmaceutical products needed to fight the disease.
He applauded the widespread support of measures adopted so far by government, and commended the efforts of those at the forefront of the fight against the virus, saying, “our nation is deeply in your debt.”
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that “There are obvious difficulties ahead of us…And we should all brace ourselves to face them.”
“ I will be transparent with you and not shirk from sharing with you the realities of our situation. But I am determined to take whatever steps necessary to safeguard our society, our economy and our future.
“I remain confident that together and by the grace of God we shall overcome . This too will pass,” he said.