The COVID-19 lockdown in Ghana hindered Christians in the country for joining their brethren around the world to mark Palm Sunday to commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem days before his arrest and crucifixion.

The day was also the final Sunday of Lent, and the beginning of the Holy Week on the Christian Calendar, but for the first time in recent history, Ghanaians could not participate in the strict religious practices due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ghana News Agency monitoring team noticed that, due to the ban on church activities and other social gatherings, Christians could not organize the usual parading through principal streets holding palm fronds amidst singing and shouting Hosonna, Hosonna to the highest.

It is christened Palm Sunday because, according to the Gospel, the people placed Palm fronds in Jesus’ path and also waved them as they hailed him amidst shouting of Hosanna, with the expectation that he was the Messiah to restore peace to them.

Accra streets were rather packed with security operatives, who stepped-up Operation COVID Safety due to pockets of resistance encountered from some residents during the first week of the lockdown.

Normally, children are prominent in Palm Sunday parades in the country, unfortunately COVID-19 denied them the opportunity to mark the memorable religious celebration this time around.

The palm frond has been adopted into Christian iconography to represent the victory of martyrs, or the victory of the spirit over the flesh, however social media platforms were bombarded with goodwill pictures and messages to mark the day.
Government banned all public gatherings like conferences, funerals, festivals, political rallies, Church services, Islamic worship for four weeks starting Monday, March, 16.

Additionally on Saturday, March 28, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced a lockdown on the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area from 0100 (local time) on Monday, March 30, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19)pandemic.

All individuals were advised to stay at home as much as possible for the next two weeks and would only be permitted to leave their homes for essential items such as food, medicine, and water, or to visit the bank and public toilets.

Additionally, inter-city travel for private and commercial purposes, except for essential goods and services, was suspended, while intra-city travel vehicles reduced their sitting capacities for social distancing.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s borders remained closed to all, but returning Ghanaians and foreign nationals with Ghanaian resident permits. All returnees would be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

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