President urges Ghanaians to turn to God and observe COVID-19 safety measures Featured

By Isabella Agyakwa March 20, 2020 1696 631 comments

President Akufo-Addo yesterday urged Ghanaians to seek the face of God, following the arrival of the coronavirus disease and the spread of the pandemic in the country, saying what is happening at the moment is not ordinary.

He also asked the public to continue observing the enhanced measures announced by the government to deal with the menace.

The President, who made this call during a prayer breakfast held at Jubilee House, expressed the belief that Ghanaians, with their abiding faith in God, will overcome the disease, and told guests: “This, too, will pass.”

Ghana, as of yesterday, had 11 confirmed cases of the deadly disease, with two new cases recorded.

"The first is a 59-year-old Ghanaian woman, resident in the United Kingdom, who recently returned to Ghana and is currently living in Kumasi, reported to a private hospital with a history of fever (temp of 39.1 ℃ ), general malaise, cough and runny nose.

“Her condition was suspected to be COVID-19. A sample was subsequently collected and sent to KCCR [the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine] and the report was received this early morning as positive for COVID-19,” the Ghana Health Service announced in an update on its website.

"The second case is a 61-year-old Lebanese male trader and resident in Kumasi. He felt unwell and reported to a health facility with fever (temp 39.4 ℃ ) and cough. The sample tested positive for COVID-19,” it said.

Rapid spread

The President told clergy present at the Prayer Breakfast that the rapid spread of the disease across the world has compelled his government to institute a number of measures to help ensure that the nation is adequately prepared to combat the pandemic.

“Prior to announcing this decision, I informed many of you around this table, and I was encouraged by the words of support offered,” he said. “The aftermath of the announcement also saw a positive, overwhelming acceptance of the measures from all and sundry, including those I could not inform because of the exigencies of time.

“With the exception of that one incident, yesterday, in North Suntreso, in Kumasi, Ashanti Region [in which a pastor breached the guidelines on assembly and was arrested by law-enforcement officials], these measures have been adhered to,” he said. 

Broad support 

The President expressed his gratitude to the clergy and the entire Christian community, saying: “I am hopeful that the state and the church will continually find ways to collaborate for the good of Mother Ghana and for the improved welfare of the citizenry.”

He also acknowledged the support of the Muslim clergy, led by the Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, as well as figures from politics, traditional authorities and opinion leaders.

President Akufo-Addo said, as a devout Christian, he knows of “the healing power and saving grace of the Maker of Heaven and Earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because in Him we live, move and have our being”.

He quoted verses from the Bible to drum home the need to turn to God for help. The first was Proverbs 9:10: “Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.”

He then quoted Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Restating his belief that “these are not ordinary times”, he noted: “In such times, a country whose population is predominantly Christian must seek the face of the One True God for healing and restoration.

“So, I humbly called you to this prayer meeting for us to join together and pray to Almighty God to protect our nation, heal this land and save us from this pandemic,” he told the clerics.

Global prayers

In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared March 7 “a National Day of Prayer” amid the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

He made the declaration the same day as his country recorded four cases of COVID-19.

He urged Kenyans to pray to God in their homes, in the company of a small group of religious leaders congregated at State House in Nairobi.

“We cannot ignore the need to turn to God. In these circumstances, as we have done in the past as a nation, we have always turned to God first to give thanks for the many blessings that He has bestowed on our nation. But we also turn to God to share our fears, our apprehensions, but also to seek his guidance and ever-present protection,” he said.

In the United States, millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump, attended religious services remotely over the internet on Sunday, after President Trump declared the day “a National Day of Prayer”.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 18:07


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