Ghanaians fast and pray today, as confirmed COVID-19 cases reach 52 Featured

By Isabella Agyakwa March 25, 2020 1478 708 comments

Ghanaians are expected to observe today as a National Day of Fasting and Prayers to seek God’s intervention in the fight against COVID-19, following the appeal from President Akufo-Addo on Sunday.

“So on Wednesday 25th March 2020, I appeal to all Ghanaians, Christians and Muslims, to observe a National Day of Fasting and Prayer. Let us pray to God to protect our nation and save us from this pandemic.”

President Akufo-Addo’s call was backed by former President Mahama. “I remind us all of the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, now announced by the President, and invite us all to observe next Wednesday as declared,” Mr Mahama also appealed.

Meanwhile, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Ghana, Rt Rev Prof JOY Mante, has asked all Ghanaians, especially Presbyterians and Christians all over the country, to “stop whatever they are doing at 6:00am, 1200 noon and 6:00pm… to intentionally pray for the health of our nation and against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).”

“Pray also for our frontline health professionals and their families,” he appealed in a release yesterday.

Confirmed cases

Addressing the media yesterday, Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu said 25 new cases of the disease has been confirmed, bringing the total to 52, with two deaths.

He explained that the 25 new cases were confirmed among the 1,030 people who are under mandatory quarantine, after arriving in the country hours to the deadline for the closure of all borders.

“We have deployed psychologists to have chats with them. We are also in the process of handing them over to case management teams we have set up, and they have started taking them to isolation centres for treatment,” he said.

The Minister added that persons who have already been tested negative, but in mandatory quarantine, will be kept until the full 14-day period before they are released if they show no symptoms.

Illegal ‘entrants’ arrested

Taking his turn, a Deputy Comptroller of Immigration in-charge of Command Post and Operations, Mr Laud Affrifah, warned transporters and local communities at the various land borders to stop aiding both Ghanaian and foreign nationals from entering the country.

He disclosed that seven Nigerians have been arrested at the Aflao border and sent back to Nigeria.

Also, an American who boarded an Ethiopian Airline flight to Togo and attempted to use the same border to enter Ghana was arrested.

Twelve motor riders (Okada) were also arrested for trying to smuggle people into the country.

At Sogakope, a Ghanaian medical doctor was also arrested after he illegally entered the country, while 21 foreign nationals were arrested at the Elubo border.

The foreign nationals were sent back while the Ghanaians are on mandatory quarantine.

Mr Laud Affrifah said some of the culprits are likely to face prosecution.

“We want to send a word of caution to our border communities and the transporters. We are not in normal times so the manner they have been conspiring to smuggle people in and out of the country should cease. The border communities form a critical part of our border management strategy. We expect them, at this time, to cooperate with the security agencies,” he said.

“We are also sending a word of caution to persons out there that Ghana borders are completely shut. Do not attempt to enter. You’ll face arrest, detention, mandatory quarantine and possible prosecution,” Mr Laud Affrifah added.

Survival

Meanwhile, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has advocated collective efforts to deal with the pandemic that is fast spreading in the country.

“Channel all your energy into helping us spread the safety, preventive measures. It’s better to spend time looking at how to prevent it than to panic. Spread count, spread information, spread knowledge, so that we can all protect ourselves,” he advised.

“Those who want to smuggle people through the borders, and those who want to aid the flouting of directives, like the quarantine, those who want to disrupt focus with all kinds of gimmicks, that our collective survival is at stake, it’s important to join us to focus on the necessary measures that have been put out there. Government is taking all the humanly possible measures based on advice from the experts,” he further said.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 10:12

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