President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Sunday said Government’s decision to institute COVID-19 relief packages is to offer “critical help” to Ghanaians amid the pandemic.

He said the pandemic had adversely affected many lives and livelihoods with the need for Government to implement several measures such as free water and subsidized electricity, funding support to small businesses and tax reliefs to mitigate its effects.

“We are not providing freebies, we are providing critical help to households, families and businesses in the midst of this pandemic, because we care,” the President said in his 15th broadcast to the nation on the update on the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to contain its spread.

“It is my conviction that, in times of crises, it is the duty of a responsible and sensitive Government to protect the population, and provide relief,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He said Ghanaians must remember at all times that the phased opening up of the country continued to put an obligation and responsibility on each one to remain vigilant, and respect the enhanced hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing protocols that had become a new normal.

“They are proving to be effective, so let us employ them wholeheartedly,” the President urged.

He said that was the way to restore quickly the “blessings of normalcy” which the country yearned for.

President Akufo-Addo said, “There is no room for complacency, we must be very much on our guard, because some countries have experienced spikes after recording major achievements in containing the spread of the virus. We should not go down that road.”

He said social distancing, enhanced hygiene and wearing of masks were obligatory for all and said, “The remarkable nature of us, the Ghanaian people, the first colonised people in sub-Saharan Africa to gain their freedom and independence from foreign rule, is manifesting itself again.

“Our democratic institutions continue to function effectively; there continues to be vigorous public debate on issues of public policy; respect for the rule of law continues to be central to our governance; our economy, despite the severe shocks of the pandemic, is proving to be resilient, and is poised for rapid recovery; our agriculture is performing so that, despite the disruptions of the pandemic, food is still abundant in our markets; and the virus itself is being fought systematically.”

The President said the country must continue that path so that the dreams of freedom and prosperity that inspired the great patriots, who founded the nation, could find expression in this generation.

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